Have you ever invested time to prepare and send a proposal to a sales prospect, only to have them not respond to your follow-up calls?
When is the best time to send a proposal and what is the most effective way to deliver it?
The best time to deliver a proposal is after you have qualified the prospect to determine if they are someone you can and someone you want to help. Before investing your valuable time or offering up free consulting in the form of a proposal, you should also determine if you need to send them anything at all. Not all sales require a proposal to close. To qualify, you must have spoken with the true decision maker and uncovered a perceived need, a willingness to fix it, and URGENCY (aka: PAIN). Unlike need or want – Pain is personal and emotional. You must also have developed an MVP (Most Valuable Player) Quality in the perception of the buyer. Without these components, no transaction will take place.
Once you have qualified your prospect, the best way to deliver a proposal is to first review it verbally with the decision maker. Whether you speak over the phone or face to face, reviewing the proposal verbally gives you the ability to listen to their tonality, their pitch and pace, and to observe body language. This conversation also gives to you the ability to ask and respond to questions BEFORE firing off a written proposal. Review the problem they are trying to solve first to make sure that you are both crystal clear about the problem. Then review your solution. Again, make sure that there are no questions or concerns about the solution and that it completely meets their needs. Finally, review the investment that the prospect is willing to make to eliminate their pain and discuss whether or not your solution will fit. If not, does it really make sense to send a proposal anyway?
If you insist on sending proposals, it’s vitally important to make the proposal part of the conversation. Once you put the solution down in writing, the prospect may not need you anymore and may refuse to take your call. They go dark. By including the proposal in the sales conversation, you have the ability to confirm that you are on the same page with the prospect with regards to the problem, the solution and the investment.