Tired of seeing your proposals constantly being rejected by prospects? The problem could be attributed to one of the following.
Listing Features Instead of Explaining the Benefits
Far too many sales professionals take an overly technical approach to their proposals, listing the features of their equipment and project instead of explaining the benefits. There's nothing wrong with conveying features in a short and concise manner, but you should focus your proposal around the benefits. In other words, what benefits does your service offer to the prospect?
“When you try to sell the features of your product or service, you're making the customer do all the work to figure out why they want the feature,” explained the folks at Entrepreneur.
Grammar and Spelling Errors
Everyone is bound to make a typo here or there; it's human nature. But if your proposal is riddled with spelling and/or grammar errors, it will hurt your efforts to convert the prospect into a paying customer. When creating a written proposal, proofread it at least twice to ensure it's correct and free of spelling or grammar errors. Spell Check Plus is a simple (and free) tool that salespersons can use to check their proposal for errors.
Another common reason could be formatting; or how the document is organized. If it is not easy to read and understand the details, your bid will be overlooked.
Your proposal needs some type of call-to-action to be effective. A call-to-action is basically a statement or image that tells the prospect how to purchase your equipment or services. It can be something as simple as a “Click Here to Order” button, or you can write a short sentence or two asking the prospect to purchase by calling your phone. Regardless, make sure your proposal contains a call-to-action; and the prospect knows what to do next.
If you've been in the business of selling industrial equipment or services for any significant length of time, you should have received some positive comments from past customers. You can enhance your marketing strategy and generate more sales leads by including these comments in the form of testimonials in your proposal, or an additioanl attachement. Being that these are unbiased opinions from an outsider's perspective, prospects will trust testimonials more than statements made by you or your company.
Sometimes it only takes a small "nudge" to convert a proposal to an order; dont miss a great opportunity to increase your credibilty in the industry.
Waiting too Long to Send Proposals
The longer you wait to send your proposal to a prospect, the greater the chance that he or she will sign a contract with another service provider. Don't hesitate to send your proposal to prospects, as timing is critical to achieving a positive response.