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How to Make Your Proposals & Quotes Pop

Posted by Amit Davé on Jan 6, 2015 9:00:00 AM


Presentation is everything, especially when it comes to sales proposals and quotes. Getting it right can mean the difference between landing the sale or failing to get the contract—it's that important. If your sales proposals read like whitepapers, your client may leave scratching their head. Worse, they may be completely bored. One of the best sales strategies to have in your arsenal is the ability to create and implement winning proposals. Need some tips? Keep reading to find out how to make your sales proposal pop.

Why is Layout and Presentation So Important?

Executives and decision makers in all industries expect professionalism, and when it comes to proposals, appearance is just as important as the contents of the proposal. If your proposal is disorganized, boring or unattractive, it gets tossed aside with all the other proposals that look exactly the same. In order to get your proposals to stand out, yours must be clean, easy to read, and engaging.

What's Been Proven to Work Better with Leads?

The most effective sales proposals get right to the point. As hard as it is to swallow, the client does not want to read about your latest awards, your objectives, your philosophies or any other self-focused information on the first page. Instead, a client wants to see three main things: your proposed solution (that you know what you're doing and will eliminate any risk), the price, and the timeframe in which the project will be completed. If it's extremely relevant, you can sprinkle in an award or testimonial here and there, but overall, your proposal must be client-centric.

How Do You Create a Layout That Provides the Best Results?

So, now you know why it's important to present your proposal in a professional and attractive way, but how do you do it? Here are five tips to make your proposals pop.

  • Stick to one or two fonts. Any more than that looks unprofessional and overdone (designers can break the rules because they've learned them). If you're going this alone, use one font for headings and one for content. Use bold, italics, and font-size as modifiers if you need to draw special attention.

  • Use no more than two or three colors. Just because your PC can produce 16.8 million colors, doesn't mean you have to use them! Think about your brand and what colors represent your company. Think about your audience (US/UK/China/Middle East for example) and research what color combinations are not advisable for that audience.

  • Keep it brief. Clients dislike reading long-winded proposals as much as you dislike writing them.

  • Use headings and table of contents. Your clients have limited time and short attention spans. Make your proposal easy to read by making it easy to find specific information.

  • Edit ruthlessly. This goes along with keeping it brief, but you should also edit to eliminate jargon. If you can't explain your solution in simple terms in a written proposal, how can the client expect good communication with you later?

By using these strategies, you'll have professional-looking proposals that wow clients and win bids.

This post was originally published hereon the salesElement blog and is used here with permission.

Sample the ROI tool from ROI-Selling.com

[Image via Flickr / Phillip Wong

Topics: Objection Handling