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BM_EGBy Elvire Gosnold, Director – Blabbermouth

Forget TV advertising and winning trips to the moon, it is the modest proposal document that needs your attention. In the heat of the excitement of a successful client visit and the prospect of a new business contract it is easy to rush through the proposal and pricing in order to make sure your prospect receives the details required to sign on the dotted line in a timely manner.

But if you stop and think about the experience and interaction your prospect has had with you and your company so far, the proposal document may be one of the first pieces of collateral they receive and will therefore place great importance on it for building a perception of your brand and confidence into whether you can deliver the proposed service.

It is advisable to create proposal documents that are corporate and easy to edit so that you can be sure your team is promoting your brand values but at the same time can easily edit the documents to make it tailored to specific requirements without going off brand. One common mistake I see when looking at proposal documents is that resellers talk too much about themselves and their proposition and too little about its impact on the prospect.

Have a look at your last proposal documents and using the ‘find’ function count how many times you used your company name, ‘we’ and ‘our’. My guess is way too many times for a document that is meant to be customer focused. Next time you are putting together a proposal, take a little extra time and change the focus from ‘we do X’ to ‘you want to achieve Y’, ‘we can help by doing X’. Finally, try and use the word ‘you’ and the prospect’s name more often than ‘we’ or your company name. This simple rule will stand you in good stead for much or your corporate collateral.