What Is a Sales Proposal?

proposal

A sales proposal is just that—a proposal. It is a sales tool you use to convince someone to buy your solution to their problem. Anything that doesn’t support this goal wastes your time and theirs. A proposal is not a sales brochure, or a project plan. It is essentially a way to formalize and give structure to what has already been agreed upon or talked about in prior meetings. It should be customer based, not focused on you. A winning proposal should include:

  • Fees and any costs or contingencies discussed prior to the proposal.
  • A discussion letter if the client seems genuinely interested in your services/product.
  • Project review in general terms, not a project plan.
  • Logistics, timing, recommended steps that include working with you.
  • The compelling reasons to buy your product and service and why they should buy from you—Your unique selling point.
  • A deadline, time-frame or date by which the client will agree or decline to work with you.
  • The impact and value of working with you—your strengths, win record, and contact information.

If you send a proposal without attending to each one of those points, you not only waste your time creating a proposal, you leave too much to chance.

What else do you include in your proposals?

Quote:

“It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one’s safety factor depends on the lowest bidder on a government contract.” ~Alan Shepherd 

4 thoughts on “What Is a Sales Proposal?”

  1. I have to say Bob, that I believe sales proposals whenever physically possible should be delivered by hand and not sent.

    That way you can walk the prospect through it point by point re-establishing your worth and stopping them skimming the exec summary and the turning to the price at the back without reading thoroughly.

    1. Good point, Tim. I agree with you. However, in this day of using technology to connect with potential clients, sometimes we don’t get the opportunity to meet them in person. How many of your clients have you never met? I can think of one for sure. 🙂

  2. Good point Mr Poole! I guess I was referring to when I worked in sales and so many sales people would have tight control over the sales process and then when it came to proposal time quite literally mail it in.

  3. I love being able to deliver them in person. Sometimes it just isn’t feasible but I think your odds of delaying or losing the sale increase with not being there.

    Good to hear from you, as always.

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