Our normal modus operandi, of course, is to leave the meeting and say,
“Thanks, that was a really helpful meeting. I’ll get you a written proposal via .pdf and FedEx next Thursday, and we look forward to hearing back from you a week later.”
What if, instead, you were to say,
“Thanks, that was a really helpful meeting. Why don’t you book the same conference room again next Thursday morning, and let’s write this proposal together.
“I’ll bring all our cost charts and resource pricing tables, as well as various background and qualifications materials. You bring the requirements materials you need.
“We’ll work together to jointly define problem statements, approaches, timing, pricing, outcomes and outcome measurements.
“It will still only be a proposal —I realize there’s no guarantee. But it will be the best darn proposal we ever wrote and you ever got, because we’d agree—to the best of our ability—how we would work together in advance to address all your issues and build those approaches into the proposal itself.
What do you say? ”
We normally think of the sales process as something that precedes having a good customer or client relationship. First we get the sale, then we can be all trusting and collaborative.
Writing the proposal together, with the client, changes that. It creates trust and collaboration before the sale. It models those attributes in the proposal process itself.
Doesn’t your client deserve the best proposal possible? Don’t you? Why not work together—on the same side of the table—to make sure you both get what you deserve?