Whatever you do in your proposals and the delivery of your presentations, love giving them. Enthusiasms sells, and remember: 80 percent of what the prospect buys (in local media sales) is the faith and trust they have in you, the sales rep, to deliver the goods and expectations of your proposal. If you’re not excited about the proposal and how you deliver the presentation, then your prospect is not going to be excited either. That other 20 percent is the product or service you sell. Seems strange right? The great sales reps who continue to practice and hone their skills are the ones you can’t take money away from on the streets.
I will give you some basics on proposal contents. It’s up to you (the rep) to make it rise above the clutter and make it different. We have seven steps for a closing call that our reps follow. The basics of this proposal guideline fits inside those steps. Presentations and proposals are two different things, though they come together as one. "Presenting" is how you personally wrap your "proposal" with presentation techniques and deliver it to the prospect.
Here are some integral proposal basics that should be inside every proposal. If you do not do a thorough Customer Marketing Profile (CMP) then it’s pretty hard to present back to the prospect the “solutions and objectives” to their goals from using your company. If you’re currently doing a “one sheet” presentation and presenting a “package,” or just your rating numbers followed by a rate sheet, then it’s time to do some different things and get better at being a sales rep, especially with your proposals. It will increase your closing ratio and eliminate objections. It shouldn’t take long to do a proposal. You can lay in some standard template designs in your computer and each proposal can follow that template. Then, when you give the proposal, you light it up with your delivery of the material.
Have the customer’s logo, along with your logo, on the Header Page. A basic header page reads:
Marketing Proposal/Presentation for XYZ Company
Prepared by: Sean Luce
Prepared for: Jon Smith
Date and approximate length of presentation.
Always let the prospect know how long they’re going to be in the meeting. You can also put a thematic tie-in to the overall proposal on the header page with something like this: A campaign designed to promote the premium retirement lifestyle that XYZ offers and increase sales inquiries. (This is a retirement home.)
Great proposals have great cover letters. Tell the prospect how you’ve tailored the presentation to meet his/her needs. Also, outline an acceptance date through which the proposal will be good. Most of your proposals should have the date as the same day you are making the presentation. You want to eliminate “thinking it over” and it gives you a good opportunity to “trial close” without being overbearing coming out of the gate. Here’s an example of a cover letter:
Dear Mr. Jones,
The ideas, concepts, and details of this proposal have been tailored specifically to XYZ Company based on our CMP on Wednesday, February 26th, and this proposal is available for your acceptance through March 3rd. (Today’s date.)
I’m excited about the opportunity to help increase your inquiries from 5 calls per day to 7 calls per day, along with increasing your website traffic and building your brand. I feel confident we will achieve these goals with the outlined schedule of ads and the “rise above the clutter” creative ideas associated with this proposal.
You have my commitment that I will continuously change creative over the course of this campaign and I will help you measure, source and track the success of this campaign.
Customer Needs and Problem Solving. (This can be on the same page.):
Detail everything that you covered in the CMP call. Usually there are three things they checked off on your marketing checklist that are critical and they need help with. Could be: 1) Generating more phone leads; 2) Build their brand; 3) Advertise their website.
Problem solving. (This is how you’re going to do it.):
Detail exactly how your company is going to accomplish those three objectives. If creating more lead inquiries is the No. 1 identified need, then detail the frequency/impressions of the message, and the creative you’re going to use. Then list how you’re going to accomplish No. 2 and No. 3.
Supporting Data and Spec Creative Ideas:
Support your proposal with information about your company. Demographic and geographic data along with your features and benefits. Then roll into presenting your spec creative ideas. Follow that up with testimonials from other satisfied customers.
Some cover this at the beginning of the presentation. I like it covered towards the end of the proposal -- after they’ve had a chance to touch and feel your presentation with your creative ideas. If you “qualified and quantified” in your CMP first call, then this should be an assumed process and not a gut-wrenching, arm-twisting close that is normally associated with closing the call and asking for money. It should be simple.
Also, it’s always an investment, not a cost. The placement of their ads should also be discussed in this phase: detail exactly where and when they will run. Have the prospect sign the agreement -- not the contract, but the agreement. Proposals should always be confirmed with a signature; it prevents disagreements down the road.
There are a couple other components that reps use. Those stated are the basics of a good media proposal. The important thing is you have a good basic proposal template where you don’t have to spend hours and hours working over the same ground every time. Remember, “closing” really happens in your CMP call where you create the emotional connection and “quantify” and “qualify” the prospect.
Now put a little pizzazz into the delivery of your proposal. Be excited and love making those closing presentations!
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at Sean@luceperformancegroup.com orwww.luceperformancegroup.com.