The companies that receive your business proposals are chiefly concerned with their own best interests, just like you. So, when a prospective client reads through your proposal, they are thinking about what your company can do for them. Your task is to ensure that you’ve presented all the key information that your prospect is looking for clearly within the business proposal.
But, sometimes you will find that you have missed out on answering a critical question for your customer. Even though you put a full effort into drafting your business proposal, exhaustively attempting to explain every minute detail, you cannot think of everything, every time. As a result, the unanswered questions running through your prospect’s mind may prevent your proposal from taking the bid.
Today we are talking about the questions probably running through your client’s internal monologue while they are reading through your quote. Knowing them will surely help prepare you for future business proposals and will help prepare you for any negotiations after the proposal is sent.
You’ve sent off that business proposal and are waiting… what do you do now?
You have to answer the questions stalling the proposal process. But, to do that, you first need to know what those questions are. Fortunately, we here at Quote Roller have seen it all before, and we have the inside scoop on the most common questions in your prospects’ minds as they consider your proposal. We also have some pro tips for quelling those concerns, all right here, so just read on. Once again, we got you covered!
Question #1: How does this proposal solve my problem?
Your prospect ultimately needs something to improve their business. If you responded to a clearly defined request for proposal (RFP), you knew going into it exactly what the prospective customer was looking for. You were probably given even more insight into what the prospect is looking for, if invited to a tender meeting. In any case, if your customer is reviewing and mulling over a business proposal, it is most likely that they are trying to clarify how your business fits with their goals. They know their needs, they just want to see if what you have to offer suits them.
After submitting your business proposal, you use Quote Roller’s built-in analytic tools to peek into your client’s brain. If your customer is hovering over the “Services” section of your proposal, perhaps you can rightfully assume that they are wondering if the services outlined in the proposal are a good fit for their business.
Such knowledge allows you to prepare to overcome objections stemming from the services you offer, in your next discussion with the prospect. Regardless of whether the clear concern is services, pricing, or any other aspect of the proposal, the question “How does this proposal solve my problem?” is among the most common, and it most often be addressed simply by either reinforcing or adding to what was originally in the proposal.
And don’t forget, if you are using a business proposal software, you then have more freedom to quickly update the proposal to exactly what your client wants.
Question #2: What makes this business different from the (cheaper) competitor?
Differentiation is a huge part of creating a winning bid. Chances are, no matter what it is that you do, there is someone out there who will do it faster and cheaper. The hard task is creating a real point of differentiation in the mind of your prospect within the pages of your business proposal. Again, this is always a goal during the proposal writing phase, but should your customer be stuck on the “Executive Summary,” “Pricing,” or “Terms” section of your proposal, they are likely hung up on trying to figure out what makes your business special.
You have every right to ask a reasonable rate for your services, but if you are more expensive than the your respective marketplace, it is important that you clarify why. If your prices denote measurable results, then you will want to make that clear to your prospect. This is best done not just by saying, but by doing. Don’t hesitate to include a portfolio of past projects and social proof, like any positive reviews you’ve received or even including a written or video testimonial. Don’t let your business proposal be out-shined by bells and whistles, but, without mentioning the competition directly, make sure you differentiate yourself from them.
If you’ve fallen short on this within the business proposal itself, your follow-up call is the time for explaining why your prices showcase the quality you can bring to the project. Know your product or service and know your business. And remember, it’s not about selling it, but it’s about making the aspects that respond to the customer’s needs are clear. Then, you will outshine the dollar signs.
Question #3: Is this business reliable enough to get the job done?
Building trust is essential to a business proposal. If your customer has never heard of your business, that fact is probably weighing heavily on their mind. After the proposal submission, you may want to simply ask probing questions during a follow-up call to learn if your prospect feels that they can trust your business.
Additional clarification of your business’ successes can overcome this objection. Concerns around ability and/or experience are absolutely crucial to clarify to your prospective customer. The feeling of lacking ability is a leading cause for proposal rejection. You have undoubtedly exercised diligence in ensuring that your business is the right fit for your prospect’s needs, and you need only to clarify that point to them.
After sending the proposal, make sure to highlight any successes in related areas to those of your customer, and tell them about the pool of talent at your organization.
Issues of reliability are extremely common in reference to business proposals, and if your proposal seems stalled, you might consider this as the reason for the delay.This is also a wonderful time to send them references they can contact and links to previous projects. Also, make sure you and your business has references on sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Sending them one email including references and social proof can be a perfect way to follow up and to boost how good you look.
Question #4: How will this business work together with my team?
Management approach is another key aspect of a proposal. Your prospect needs to know that your business will act as an extension of theirs throughout the life of the project. If your business proposal does not delve into management approach, since many people overlook this subtle detail, you may want to clarify how your company will deal with that of the prospective customer.
This is a concern that your prospect will likely be more than happy to ask about. Being informed and ready to explain the nature of the working relationship is the best advice for tackling this question. Make sure you have your roles clearly defined as to who will do what for the project — hopefully with just one person set to liase with your client — and you’ll be better equipped to respond.
Have no fear!
If your prospective client has concerns such as those listed above, fear not. Answering questions just like these is all part of the business proposal consideration process. By keeping such concerns in mind, you can quickly overcome any objections that arise as a result of issues just like these. Great planning is the key to proposal success, and by tackling common questions from clients who have seen your proposal, you are well on your way to winning the business every time!
Now, are you ready to answer your prospect’s questions? Any common questions of client consideration to add?
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