To learn how to quote winning proposals that convert, you won’t be able to cut corners. Famously, Picasso once did a woman’s portrait in five minutes and then charged over a million for it. “But it only took you five minutes!” protested the woman. “No madam, it took me over 30 years to do a five-minute painting.” Booooom! Want to get started?
Like any relationship, first impressions are paramount. How you look speak volumes about your company culture. Whether you’re in shorts and sandals as a bike shop proprietor in inner cities to full suit from the latest spring collection at your next fashion event, be consistent when you present proposals.
That consistency needs to follow the design materials that are circulated in-house to all the leads your sales team is approaching and following up with. Inattention to detail such as pixelated logos, off-color branding, or vague copyright will leave that grimace on your clients’ face as they check their inbox in much the same way they accidentally sipped oj after having brushed their teeth.
Instead have a couple of approved, company-branded templates you can customize with:
- product images;
- meaningful data (free infographic creator with Piktochart); or
- links to interactive experiences.
The punchline is that consistent design will greatly improve your chances of even being taken seriously as a candidate for proposals. We know you’re a sweet and special guy, but they don’t. So don’t allow the chance for them to think your company is short of awesome professionalism.
Are You Human?
One of my favorite dystopian films is Robocop (1987, don’t get it twisted). “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” Such a good line. And while that works perfectly for anyone willing to buy it for a dollar, it’s not the same when you’re pitching to a client.
Despite the media noise overload and throwing our sensory capacity over the fringe, people still buy from other people. Yes of course, it’s easier to go for a shotgun marketing approach and see how many ducks we can pick out of the water. But to consistently convert quality clients you truly want to do business with and you can actually fulfill the value you’re promising, you must adjust and personalize your language.
What Can They Do?
Are you listening to the obstacles your potential client is having? When you’re able to identify the bottlenecks in their operation, they will naturally assume you also have a solution or are at least close to having one. However, take it a step further and offer options. Anticipate what options would be most beneficial to them. Step in their shoes. When you’re able to separate the important solutions from the urgent ones, let them know they have options of how they can move forward and how you can help.
Let Them Sell Themselves
Once you’ve sent the proposal, don’t wait by the phone like a 90’s high school girlfriend. Don’t follow up with “just checking in…” You’re not clingy, I know you better. Instead, periodically send them more valuable information regarding their obstacles.
Saw something online where another company was having similar issues and their solution was close to what you’re proposing? Let them know, show them your proposal has been validated before. It’s a proven solution. Don’t be afraid that they might go with someone else. They’ll see how confident and unselfish you are in your willingness to show them the information they’re looking for. They will come.
Winning quality proposals is a delicate balance of timing, presentation, collaboration, and confidence in yourself and the client. This you can definitely learn. Employ this in your business funnel and you’ll greatly reduce the chances of your client leads running to the competition.
Have additional strategies to add? Let us know in the comments below!