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Is Your Proposal Writing Losing You Sales?

2 min read

Are you spending significant time on written sales documentation but not really seeing any results? It is easy to get stuck in a rut—“this is how we have always done things”—but that complacency might end up costing you customers. When did you last take a close look at your sales proposals to see what is working against you? Here are three questions to consider.

 

Have you put yourself in your customers’ shoes?

What do your customers really want? They want to know how you are going to solve their problems. That’s it.

So, in one or two sentences at the top of your document, sum up how you’ll answer this customer’s particular needs. Think of this as your elevator pitch; it will draw the reader in.

Have you included a clear Client Value Proposition?

Now dig deeper: What is your client’s business strategy? What challenges are they facing? What is your distinctive difference? Don’t waste time and effort mindlessly listing every benefit of your products and services. Explain exactly how your offering will solve their key problems. This is your client value proposition.

Is your tone helping build relationships?

As you write your proposal, use simple and personable language, just as you would in a regular conversation. Customers are put off by formality and stuffy writing. Nobody wants to be addressed by an institution, but everyone wants to do business with people they like!

Along with formal language, scrap statements that sound like they come from a cheesy commercial. Exaggerations and clichés will not help your sales efforts. Look at the statements below. Which do you find most compelling?

  1. Braggingrights.com is number one! Best in XYZ test software and topnotch customer service!

  2. For a retail industry leader like ABC, it is cheaper to retain existing customers than to get new ones. XYZ CRM system can double your customer retention.

Why do we like statement B? Because:

  1. It shows more knowledge of the customers’ business and concerns (“need to retain customers”).

  2. It is personable and customer-focused.

  3. Well, is there anything we like in statement A?

Einstein was right: it is kind of crazy to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. So if you are not getting the results you want from your written proposals, go ahead and change the way you write. A sales writing workshop can be a good start. This is a good time of the year for new beginnings!

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