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A proposal is where all your sales conversations are documented into a specific proposition.  The proposal is written as a confirmation of a verbal agreement.  If the prospect has not told you the sales is yours … its not yet time to write a proposal.

To secure the sale, the proposal must review all the benefits and reinforce your prospect’s decision to buy.  You must re-stimulate the prospect’s desires and lay out the terms in writing.  The format should be simple:  Executive Summary, Current Issues, Solution, Benefits, Delivery Schedule and Financial terms.  Use plenty of bullet points.  The length should be appropriate for the investment.

The purpose of the proposal is to document agreements. Nothing new should be introduced in a proposal.  A proposal is not a price quote.  That means you need to remind the prospects of all the the problems they have and the wonderful benefits they get from your product or service.  You might even throw in a new and unexpected benefit.

Some of the most important selling your prospect will do is selling co-workers on you.  That selling will be supported by your proposal.  But don’t go overboard here.  Provide information clearly enough that your prospect can convince themselves, and all others, that they must reap the benefits that you’ve carefully laid out for them.

Price should never be presented before benefits.  Clearly document the price (that has been verbally agreed upon) but make sure you stress any special terms and your guarantee.  The less risk your prospect perceives, the less cautious they will be.  And finally, identify a limited period of time the proposal is good for and set specific expectations on what will happen between now and when the prospect’s decision is final.