The team of 18 sales reps placed several recent sales proposals in the middle of the table.

They reviewed each proposal and rated whether they were:

  • Compelled to read it
  • Knew what they were buying
  • Felt it was personalized to solve a problem, fill a gap or improve something
  • Believed it could be left behind for the customer/prospect to show it to their business partner or colleague to review and decide whether to buy based on this proposal.

Only 2 proposals received enough ratings to say ‘yes’.

Too many of these proposals did nothing to advance the sale.

In fact, the reps said the proposals were the problem and eliminated that particular organization from consideration.

That’s eye opening when today more and more prospects and customers are requesting email proposals in lieu of face-to-face meetings to review the proposal.

Requesting email proposals is due to the high tech worold, distance, timing  and the  well as  ‘not wanting to be sold’ syndrome.Focus on the main topics of a business proposal

You could say ‘no’ to emailing a sales proposal (and many suggest that on Linkedin) and even demand a face-to-face appointment to present.

Only smart sellers know you aren’t honoring selling to your customers the way they want to be sold – and there are plenty other sellers out there that would.

Today’s sales proposals need to be written with the new lens of – ‘what if I can’t present this in person’.

Tips to write the ‘Easy to Say Yes’ Proposals for face-to-face or email:

  1. Qualify before investing the time and energy to craft a proposal. Be as in-depth, thorough and explicit as to what the challenge, gap or opportunity your products and services can fill.
  2. Gain commitment and confirmation that there is budget, you are a viable option and know the next steps in their buying cycle.
  3. Model the written proposal to the same steps of the face-to-face sales call where you would be presenting in person.
  4. The cover page is your launching the sales conversation message. Include their name, title, and company name; plus your name, company name and date. Their information is larger than yours! Also, a mention of the benefit in the title of the proposal to build rapport and trust. An example of one of our titles for a sales training proposal is: A Revenue Producing Training Solution for (insert name) by (insert your information).
  5. Goals/Needs/Objectives Recap.  What did they tell you their needs, wants, challenges or desires are? Restate these in bullet format if possible. It is all about ‘what’s in it for them’. They have not been sitting around since your last meeting thinking about you in the way that you have been about them. They need a reminder of their desired position, why they want to change from where they currently are, and the risk and/or rewards if they satisfy their needs.
  6. Recommendation/Solution Pages.  Now you can talk about your favorite thing –your product or service. Be certain the recommendation and solution will satisfy the needs and objectives. People are not buying your product or service… they are buying what it will do for them.
  7. Responding to Objections. Yes,you can be proactive and include a concern you know they will have in the proposal. For example, someone buying television time may be very concerned about production price and time. Inserting information on how production works, a comparison of your pricing to others, and time commitments in the proposal minimizes or eliminates the objection.
  8. Close. This is a key element that is often left out. I see too many proposals end with the last page as the pricing page. What if the last page was a ‘Benefit page’ listing or stating what they will get or gain – yes those same items on the Needs/Objectives – from partnering with you. This page summarizes the reason to do business with you and turns the price into value.

The next time you write a proposal, give it to a friend or colleague.

Ask the rep of colleague to pretend they are the client and need this for their meeting with their boss.

You won’t be there and this proposal is your replacement.

How will it do?


Top performing and top producing sales managers use these 3 actions to guarantee their sellers meet sales quotas consistently.  (1) Field Ride Alongs  (2) One-on-One Coaching and (3) Sales meetings that build skills.  Alice is unable to do your field ride alongs or one-on-one coaching (although she really could, yet that’s more important for the manager to do).  What Alice can do for you to guarantee you’re meeting sales quotas is provide you with 33 high-impact, results-producing 30 Minute Sales Meetings – complete with leader outlines and worksheets.