We’ve been glad to see how much you, our readers, are enjoying our Business Plans the Built a Billionaire series. So much so that we’ve decided to take the idea and run with it, honing in on some of the cleverest, most intriguing, and smoothest business proposals of all time.
Keep in mind that the business proposals that make this list are not necessarily the biggest ever – they’re the ones we have found that we think you can learn from. So we’ve given each one an overview and a “takeaway tip” to help you relate the lessons to be gleaned to your own entrepreneurial activities.
Here are four sales tips from some of the smoothest business proposals of all time.
First, we talked about What We Learn from YOU. Now it’s time to talk about what we’ve learned from our partners in crime.
Seriously the best part of working for a startup is learning and doing new things every day. That is especially the case when I work with our integration partners and other SaaSy friends, like in our ongoing series of free webinars. Just last week, I’ve learned so much from a few of our partners that I thought I’d share with you now their innovative ways to connect with clients on and offline.
So let’s dive in and reveal (or steal?) some of their secrets!
People are sharing their lives online in an unprecedented way through multiple channels, the hashtag #IncabableOflivingInTheMoment springs to mind.
This live tweeting is useful for marketers because people are inadvertently revealing their needs and desires attune to their potential purchases. A buying signal is a signal from a potential customer that shows intent to buy a product or service.
Spotting these signals could mean the difference between potentially securing the lead, by ushering it through buying process, or just letting it disappear amongst the noisy social media landscape. Even if it doesn’t result in a purchase from the original tweeter, 80 percent of customers do online research before buying in-store, so this could mean other people researching your product or service may vicariously take note of your call to action.
Today we break down the different types of buying signals, and then we invite you to a free webinar on Lead Nurturing in the Social and Mobile Age.
Building a business is all about customer relationship management (CRM). That’s precisely what led me to trying out an app from one of Quote Roller’s integration partners, Zoho CRM. Although I use the services of several products from our integration partners myself (Google Drive, Box, and PayPal), I wanted to share my experience using one of my favorites: Zoho CRM.
You see, even before I started blogging for Quote Roller, I was using Zoho Mail for my professional emails (and Gmail for personal), and dabbling with some of the company’s other app offerings now and then.
I have long been especially keen on using Zoho Invoice for billing. I freelance for several websites on a regular basis and take on one-off and guest assignments all the time, so I was pleased to find that I can easily integrate Quote Roller with Zoho CRM to streamline those two processes, allowing you to access customers in the CRM inside Quote Roller to send any one of them a business proposal.
I have a growing customer list, which is too hard to manage without CRM. Since I use Quote Roller to submit proposals and close business, it has become quite clear that I have to use a CRM tool to keep it all straight, and Zoho CRM has proven to be the right tool for the task.
So, based on my experience, here’s what it is like to use Quote Roller, Zoho CRM, and Zoho Invoice.
And we’ll start with how all you Quote Rollers can get started with using Zoho CRM right away.
True or False: There’s no such thing as multitasking, you are only making people wait.
We call our generation the masters of multitasking, never stopping, disconnecting or focusing on just one thing. But do we need to? Today we are break down the pitfalls of multitasking and how to manage your time better.
There have been plenty of pieces why multitasking doesn’t work. Forbes explains how our brain can’t possibly differentiate and tackle two dissimilar tasks at the same time, to the point that doing so could be dangerous; think how well Fernando Alonso would drive if he was checking his email. The New Yorker argues that the world’s great geniuses, from Kerouac to Jobs, reached their potential by being essentially recluses, shutting out the world and focusing for days on perfecting and following through on a single task.
So why do we think we can magically do more than the Wozniaks and Kafkas of the world? Google and Twitter and Facebook, oh my, have built up our hubris, fooling ourselves into believing we’re multitasking warriors, when we’re really ineffectual wimps who think ourselves more effective because we don’t even stop so-called multitasking in the bathroom.
We just need to STOP. And then retrain ourselves from the start not to multitask but to manage time.
As you may have heard, for the last two months, we’ve been holding an ongoing Design a Great Proposal Contest. The goal was purely selfish, as you make us look good every day and we thought we’d take advantage of your mad skillz to inspire other Quote Roller users of how to take advantage of our sales solution to not only save time, but to put their businesses’ best face forward.
First click on and check out the three winning proposals to see what we’re talking about…
…and then read on to learn all the simple tricks to make sure your next business proposal screams ACCEPT.
Some Quick Business Proposal Success Tips
- Don’t overload with text. Split into consumable–and trackable!–sections
- Pay closest attention to the first section–if that’s boring, no one’s going to click on through
- Use images more–a picture is worth a thousand words
- ALWAYS customize your experience and list of services to clients’ needs
- Offer them options in your pricing table
- Size your photos correctly–higher-res for web-based and lower for PDF
- Build and reuse your best content, saved in your Content Library
- Don’t forget to review your PDF proposal version–if you cannot make a good PDF, turn the option off!
Now, let’s jump right into the good stuff with lessons and tips we’ve learned from you, the folks actually using our business proposal app every day to close more deals! Thank you!
“Everyone thinks they’re in a unique business, but the circus business really is unique. “ – Kenneth Feld, (speaking to Inc.com)
Most of the billionaires that make it into this series are not like Kenneth Feld. Kenneth Feld is one of the world’s newest billionaires, and that’s why we’re talking about him. It’s just that his story is filled with twists and turns – and it’s not all been elephants, peanuts, and trapeze acts.
His company, Feld Entertainment, owns a bevy of family entertainment outfits, including Ringling Bros., and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice!, Monster Jam, and AMA Supercross Championship, among others. Forbes just added Feld to its list of billionaires in January of 2014, estimating the circus magnate’s net worth at a conservative $1.8 billion. That’s a whole lot of nights at the big top and cotton candy sold!
The cold sell used to be one of the backbones of marketing, whether it was door-to-door or over the phone. Cold calling showed an unheard of amount of confidence in one’s brand or product, that you could approach a complete stranger with the intent of having another happy customer by the time the conversation was over.
The era of pushy telemarketers and the do-not-call list that followed prompts many people to associate cold calls with similar business practices, but the two are not necessarily linked. Under the right circumstances and with the right approach, cold calling can still be effective. But is it a good fit for your business?
With the April 15 tax deadline fast approaching in the United States, we thought we would take a look at 11 commonly overlooked things you can write off on your taxes. The IRS’s list of small business tax deductions is extensive, but we are narrowing it down to focus on things you might not know about.
Even if you have already submitted your tax return, it is not too late to send in an amended version. Remember, save your receipts – you will need them. Here we go!