I often see sales reps who are "quoting machines." At every opportunity they prepare price quotes for prospects, thinking that they have hot opportunities. Actually what they are doing is positioning themselves as a common vendor that is selling on price, and opening themselves up to getting into a game where the prospect will try to beat their price down.
My friend and colleague, Jim Meisenheimer suggests that you do proposals instead. He has just created a free e-course, "The Art Of Closing The Sale," where he shares a number of valuable lessons on getting the business. I’ve excerpted one of the lessons below, and also highly recommend you sign up for the complete e-course.
Forget Doing Quotes. Create Personalized Proposals To Win More Sales
By Jim Meisenheimer
Closing the sale is much easier when you present your sales prospect a professional sales proposal instead of a quote.
First, if you are doing quotes, stop it. Don’t use those automated run-of-the-mill quotation forms or programs. Instead, create value-packed sales proposals.
As an example, let’s say you are working with a prospect and you’re dealing with a committee of five decision makers. Also imagine they are seated around a conference table for for a meeting to determine who gets the business. You’re not there by phone or in person to represent yourself. What’s left is your sales proposal. In order to stand out from the others it has be spectacular.
Let’s assume there are four suppliers involved. Three of the suppliers have submitted boring boiler-plate quotations that scream out, "Hey, here’s my price."These are the people who are perceived as "vendors." The person who likely gets the business is the one who is perceived as adding value, at THEIR price. This is accomplished with a dynamic proposal.
Here are three ways to add pizzazz and value to your sales proposals.
1.The cover page is your headline. If there are five decision makers, be sure you have each person’s name in large type on the front cover. Add a line that says "Especially prepared for____." Put the date of the decision making meeting on the front cover too, not the date you send it. This also forces you to find out when the decision is going to be made. (You are askingthat, aren’t you?"
2.Include an organization chart. Create a chart that includes the names of six to eight people in your organization who are most likely to have some interaction with your potential customer. Traditional organization charts usually include names and titles. Go beyond that and include telephone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, direct dial extensions and a digital photograph the size of a quarter situated in the box.
Including this contact information draws attention to the accessibility of all key people–exactly what you want. Having pictures adds faces to the names. You can score some major points by introducing your support team.
3. Include a Benefits Page. At the top of this page, in very large type, put "(Their Company) Benefit Page".
List seven facts or features about your company and or products. But of course facts are simply facts. Under each fact express a benefit. This benefit statement should be indented, bold faced, slightly larger type, and printed in red so it jumps off the page at anyone who is looking at it.
Begin each benefit statement with these words: "Which means."
This will increase your sales and multiply your personal income. This page should be positioned as the page before your first page of pricing. What this means is your potential customer gets to see your benefits before he sees your pricing. That’s a smart move and makes closing the sale easier for you.
Get Jim Meisenheimer’s new e-course
(delivered via email) "The Art Of Closing The Sale."