Increase Sales With Your Well-Written Proposal
Who are you to your client or prospect: a voice on the phone, a person on site, or the writer of a proposal? Do those three versions of you come across equally well? Or does the writer serve you less well than the voice or the face?
To many people’s ears, the writer tends to sound a bit stiff and formal compared with the live person.
Is the writer letting you down—and dragging down your sales numbers? Lend us your ears for a moment!
You can write a compelling proposal
Jot down what you know about your client/prospect. What motivates him? What challenge does she face right now? Are you writing to the decision-maker, an influencer, or an implementer? What does the company’s culture tell you? What can you offer that is most valuable to the reader, in her situation right now?
Write one sentence that contains both the solution you’re offering and the benefit to the reader. Make that sentence clear and powerful. It’s your proposal’s “elevator speech.”
Brainstorm the most vital information you can give this client/prospect that could help him achieve his objective. Imagine yourself with the person, asking questions and then forming answers. Include the information your client/prospect needs to know to make a purchasing decision.
Group what you’ve written under headlines so that your proposal becomes scannable.
Imagine yourself as your own client/prospect
Which of these thoughts would you like to have running through your reader’s mind?
This person is so bright and articulate!
This person gets who I am and what I need.
Yes, you want option b.
If you need to impress someone with your stunning command of the entire range of features of your product, please call your mom. To make sales, make your audience feel listened to and understood. Here’s how to do it.
Like you, your client/prospect needs to know from the top what your solution is and how he or she will benefit. Make that one great sentence from item 2 (above) your first sentence in the proposal.
Like you, your client/prospect needs the key benefits of your solution that will make the difference in the current situation, and what that difference will look like. This is your value proposition. Spare your reader the entire list of benefits.
Like you, your client/prospect wants to be able to scan the proposal and find benefits, timeline, costs and your analysis of how your solution will change the reader’s situation. Use headlines to guide your reader’s eye and structure your case.
Like you, your client/prospect does not lack for things to read. Remember that your reader will appreciate clear and concise writing and will fail to be knocked out by your stunning command of semicolons.
Write the draft. Then read it aloud.
The draft should sound the way you sound on the phone or in person. If it doesn’t, rework it until you can speak your proposal as naturally as you would describe your solution face to face. If you can’t read it aloud without laughing, or your patient partner can’t hear it without eye rolling, it still needs work to be conversational enough.
Your written proposal’s job is to create the feeling you would try to create in person. Generally, the word “heretofore” does not create that feeling. Sound like a likeable 21st century person.
You thought proposals needed to be formal and complex, didn’t you? Times have changed. They need to be YOU on paper, or on a screen. All three versions of you need to sound like each other.
Be your likeable and convincing self. Isn’t that your favorite person to be anyway?
If you’d like to learn more about how your company can increase sales through better communication, check out the business writing training sessions we offer. Simply click here.