Everything worked out perfectly. You conducted a great marketing strategy, got some “bites” and was able to speak with the decision maker on a one on one meeting. Everything seemed to be going well and after the meeting you spent hours writing a great proposal that would surely get approved by the business owner. You send it over to the business owner and they said thanks, and that they should get to it a little later.
Time goes by and there’s still no response on your proposal. You think to yourself: “Maybe they got busy, they are a decision maker after all.” You all the business owner and they pick up and say: “Oh yeah, sorry! I still haven’t got a chance to read it”. Weeks go by, and still no response. Eventually the business owner begins to recognize your phone number and begins ignoring it because they have more important things to worry about. At this point, trying to land the deal seems out of reach.
Has this ever happened to you or a story similar? Here are some of the reasons why business owners aren’t reading the proposals you send them:
- They see a large binder of papers and simply do not feel like reading it.
- They actually took the time to read it, did not agree with some sentences and decide to put it off.
- They don’t trust you enough to do business with you.
- They simply don’t see a need for your product or service after reading the proposal.
There are obviously an infinite amount of reasons, however, we are going to go over some great strategies on how you can make sure that you are closing a higher rate on your proposals.
#1 – Make Sure the Client is Worth the Time of Writing a Proposal
Many sales gurus will tell you to ask the client what their budget is. This is usually a dead end question, however, because most people don’t even know enough about your product or service to offer such a suggestion. A great recommendation is to get a feel for their business by asking a few (not too many) situation questions.
- What are your business goals? Where are you right now?
- What’s preventing you from reaching these goals?
- Would you say your business is growing or downsizing?
- How much is a new customer worth to you?
- How many new customers do you get a month?
By asking questions, you can get a feel for the business owner and see if they are worth your time. If they demand to get straight into the pricing and immediately begin attempting to grind you down – you may want to search for a better client. If you do find the client is worth a proposal, then you may want to think about using some tools online to craft a convincing, yet professional sales proposal.
#2 – Use Proposal Writing Tools
Writing a proposal is an art form in itself. We will discuss techniques on how to craft an excellent business proposal in a later post, however, in the mean time we have tools that can help you out:
- Bid sketch helps you write proposals quickly and gives the you the ability to quickly send them out to decision makers for them to review.
- Right Signature is excellent if there’s any type of documents that need to be signed. This can expedite the legalities of the transaction!
- GoToMeeting – If you want to present a proposal or document you can use this in order to show off the information.
These are some tools that can help you get started in your quest to land more proposals!
#3 – How to Present a Proposal Without Meeting in Person
First off, we are going to tell you the #1 reason why most people’s proposal fail. Many people simply send the proposal and hope everything takes care of itself. This is rarely the case, in fact, a client will almost always reject a proposal if they find even ONE thing they do not agree with, therefore, it’s a good idea to set up a time and date. Do not even show the proposal until you can go over it with the person.
In this day and age, it may be impossible to meet with people in person, in fact, there may be many situations in which you do business with people who are on the other side of the world! How can you meet with them if the price of meeting with them chomps away at your profit margin. Therefore, it may be a wise idea to try and have a meeting over the internet. Here’s an excellent mini-guide on how to conduct this meeting.
- Agree to meet with the client at a specific time. Remember, always meet a time convenient for them, even if you have to wake up at 2:30 AM in the morning. A great tool to ease the coordination of timing and meetings is to use the tool MeetMe. It gives the client a list of your available times and makes scheduling a meeting easier than ever.
- You can have the person call over phone or use a free tool such as Join.Me, to go over the proposal using screen sharing technology.
- Open up the .PDF proposal document and go over it with the decision maker. Do not be afraid to go over every single detail; if the decision maker wants you to push things along faster, they will let you know.
- Go over any objections that the decision maker has. For example, if they do not like the pricing of certain items, either back up your prices with evidence that they offer value – or simply adjust them to the client’ s needs.
- Ensure that they agree to everything else except the corrections.
- Re-send the proposal with the corrections, and they should approve in an instant.
If they are all the way across the world, then you can send invoices using a multitude of services including Pay-Pal. If it is a large transaction, then you may want to set up a direct deposit in which they can transfer the money to your bank account. A service that helps with larger deposit is Intuit’s Payment Network. If the payment is more than $5,000 then the payment will get to the bank account in 3-5 business days. Using this service a business owner can input their banking information and routing number into a secure processor.
In conclusion, by filtering out clients, finding the right proposal crafting tools, and presenting it in a professional matter, you will heighten the chances of you closing proposals in a short amount of time!