When creating a sales pitch or slide deck, it is easy to start with information about your company. It is natural, since we want to convince the prospect that they are in good hands and can trust us.

Scratch that.

You must understand the client’s hierarchy of needs and create a succession of ‘yeses’.

5 Key Elements to a Well-Structured Sales Proposal

1. Emphasize The Client’s Needs, Goals, and Objections

Clearly repeat the needs of the client to reinforce that you have their interest in mind. Articulate the goals, as you understand them, and the objections they are facing. This establishes the issue and sets a clear starting point for your business relationship.

Example:

“Mr Client, in our last meeting, you said that you are experiencing decreased sales in Quarter 3. This is costing your business upwards of $150,000 per year. We also talked about your sales teams feeling overwhelmed with un-qualified leads.”

2. State Your Solution

After you have demonstrated that you understand the needs of the client, present a solution. Avoid getting bogged down in the process, keep the focus on the results.

Example:

“I recommend implementing some automation to weed out anonymous visitors from real, qualified leads. Through this, we can work together to deliver the information your customers are seeking while freeing up your sales team to focus on the customers ready to buy. Not only does this save your sales staff from dealing with unqualified prospects, but helps shorten your sales cycle overall, to avoid the third quarter rut you are struggling with.”

3. Set Expectations and Resolutions

Create a realistic exceptions, especially a timeline, for the customer. If necessary, break down complex processes into phases and explain how each phase builds upon the previous. Include how you will track the progress throughout the entire project and give the client the power to measure results on their own end. This transparency establishes an incredible amount of authority in the eyes of your customer.

Example:

“This is a signifiant undertaking, one that will take approximately 12 months to fully implement. I recommend starting with a content marketing strategy that will set the course for Phases 2 and 3. I expect the strategy to be completed by February 1st, and I have taken into account the holiday season and understand your team may be out of the office and unavailable. Next, Phase 2 lays the groundwork and foundation for Phase 3. Phase 2 will take 45 to 60 days to fully implement, which takes us to the middle of March or first part of April. At this time, you will have your content marketing strategy and the framework for you or your team to take over. If you decide that we work well together, and you would like my help putting this into practice, we would begin Phase 3 in April through the end of the year.”

4. Present Pricing and Return on Investment

Presenting pricing is often viewed as a taboo topic with many agency owners. You must get over this false thinking. You bring value to the client and deserve to be compensated for such value. Don’t ever apologize for your rates and fees, but do show the ROI, return on investment, of your client. My mission, with each client, is to deliver 600-700% ROI. In my experience, being able to produce this growth for them completely overshadows my rate.

Example:

“For the recommendations I have made, the total annual fee is $107,899. As you may recall, this includes the consultation time with me and my team, the writing and publishing services required in Phases 2 and 3, and the necessary software licenses and subscription fees. I understand this may be a large number, and a considerable investment for you. As a business owner, I understand the need to justify every dollar spent. For that reason, I have calculated the return on investment I am projecting. Based on your previous goal of 240 new customers per year, and the lifetime value of those customers being approximately $3500, I estimate this contract to generate $840,000 in new revenue. I did not factor the increase in efficiency for your sales staff, remember, they are only focusing highly-qualified leads.”

5. Get Committal and Establish Next Steps

Many sales meetings simply end with the client taking control of the timeline with phrases like, “Let us take some time to talk about it.” or “I’ll bring these numbers to my boss and get back to you.”

Notice these are vague statements without a clear commitment or timeline. As a sales person, do not fall into the trap of accepting this.

Example:

“I understand this may be a new approach to marketing. What exactly are you having reservations about?”

Conclusion

With this structured approach like this, the prospect knows that you recognize their problems and have a solution. At the end of the day, they don’t care about your process or accolades; they want to fix their problem and continue to focus on their business.

Don’t create a sales presentation that convinces the client to do business with you; instead, demonstrate the lost opportunity of not working with you.

Leave a comment with how you currently structure sales proposals or pitches. I would love to know if you have used any of these tips or have recommendations based on your experience!

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