Squished into an alcove, out of sight. Mike took a deep breath.
He checked his pocket. The business cards! Where were his business cards? He rifled through his bag. Phew! There they were, wedged in the middle of his diary.
His heart racing again, Mike took a second to organize his thoughts.
This was his twenty-first sales appointment and he still felt as bad as he had in the first. Anxious, stressed, worried about how his presentation would be received. None of the clients he had visited had accepted his proposal and now he was at prospective client number 21. He was staring down the barrel of another bad result.
Twenty-one bad results in a row wouldn’t look good on his young record. He still hadn’t won a deal and had been in this job for almost a year. His boss talked in vague terms about “re-training”. Mike had seen it with others. Re-training was a precursor to termination.
He couldn’t understand it. The proposal sold itself. The logic was clear. Without Mike’s system, marketing firms were less efficient and therefore made less money. Everyone can understand that!
He needed to make this presentation count.
Mike straightened his tie and walked towards the reception desk.
“Mike Sweet for John Walters.”
Ever been in Mike’s position? Your proposal is a perfect fit for your customer. The customer seems engaged during the presentation. They ask some questions. And then, nothing.
Could be that you’re focusing to much on the process of the presentation and not enough on the proposal.
Here are 3 killer strategies for successful sales proposal presentations:
1. Empathize with your audience
Unless you can walk in your prospect’s shoes you will find it very difficult to sell them on anything. Despite the clear logic.
Empathizing with your audience requires work on your part. It requires you to understand, or at least speculate on, what life is actually like for your prospects. What makes them satisfied, productive, frustrated, angry? Once you understand your audience, your presentation, your proposal is much more effective. That’s because you can frame your proposal so it targets a situation you understand.
Let’s imagine you are delivering a proposal about a new human resources system. Quite a dry topic. If, however, you understand that the HR reps you are presenting to are frustrated with constant busywork related to lack of automation, you’ve found your frame. Frame your proposal around how the new system will eradicate the busywork and you’ve got yourself an engaged audience.
2. Clearly describe the benefits
Make sure you address the unspoken, “What’s in it for me question?”
Everyone is an individual, and while they want the best for the company, they also want to hear about what’s good for them. To this end make sure you align benefits for both the company and the individual.
For example, it’s fine to talk about the cost-savings the company will make through new efficiencies, but translate those efficiencies into what it’s going to mean day-to-day for an individual. Tell them about how their workloads will become lighter, or how the amount of re-work they do will disappear because of system reliability.
3. Contrast outcomes
As part of your close and call-to-action you should contrast your prospect’s outcomes.
Paint a picture for your prospect. Show them, as vividly as possible, what their situation could be like if they opt for your offer. Show them the alternative. Even though the alternative is their current situation, it is important to paint the picture of both outcomes side-by-side.
By contrasting the outcomes you get closer to your prospect’s emotions and make it more likely they will accept your proposal.
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