Finally a system of selling that doesn't depend on psyching up your ego. Bill has created a system that really works. Good is great.  --Al Ries, co-author, The Origin of Brands.  Author or co-author of at least eight best-selling books.

Creating A Winning Sales Proposal

Prospects often require proposals. Some corporate buyers publish an RFP-Request for Proposal. Some buyers expect them while others are pleasantly surprised to receive them.

How should you produce a winning sales proposal?

Sales Proposal Strategy:
How to Develop a Proposal
One Client at a Time


You should create a single proposal document that holds everything you have written or will write to produce a proposal.

Call it "Master Proposal."

The idea is: use MS Word's capability as a word processor to store paragraphs you might like to use again. When it is time to prepare a new proposal, you already have most of it written.

The sequence you want to follow is:
1. Add new material to the master that applies to this client. Proof it as necessary so you don’t have to re-proof it.
2. Save the master proposal. Then Save As and give it a name for a specific client or prospect.
3. Delete anything from the specific proposal that does not apply to this client. If you discover you need additional paragraphs not in the new document, make sure you add them into the master.

Write a Successful Sales Proposal:
Where to Start


Start with an "Action Proposal." In the pages that follow I will give you several proposal examples.

If you search the web for this term, you will find it used primarily by various non-profit and governmental agencies. I'm taking it over for sales because I've used it for a long time and it describes the section of the proposal you should write, which ultimately is the core of the entire sales presentation.

Sales deals with getting a client or prospect to do something. Hence the term, "action proposal."

Action Proposal - A written statement of the actions the sales professional wants the client to take.

Ideally, your proposal should be printed and bound. If not printed, at least sent as a PDF with an attractive cover, even if it is only two pages long.

If it is more than a cover and one page, the pages should be numbered.

In the investment world, your action proposal could be as simple as a list of investments in these action categories:
1. Keep these investments
2. Re-allocate these cash positions
3. Sell these investments
4. Add these investments to your portfolio

Grow Your Sales Proposal One Client
at a Time


The next piece of content you add to grow your proposal could be called "objectives."

Depending on whether you have added enough material to justify a table of contents, the "objectives" page should be the first, or one of the first pages.

Objective - A desired result the client wants to achieve.
Let’s take an example from a different area.

Suppose you sell armadillo burgers to restaurants that also feature chicken and turkey. In your fact-finding interview, you discover your buyer wants to:
• Create a buzz among local restaurant bloggers when this unique food product is introduced.
• Increase sales by switching clients from turkey to a higher priced entrée.

You add these objectives to your action proposal on a page titled “Objectives.”

You receive a phone call from Antonio Referini whose restaurant, "Referini's Panini and Other Stuff," is located in Little Italy, in lower Manhattan. Antonio tells you: "I want to up-sell from turkey and chicken to something else, and I want to differentiate myself from the 293 other Italian restaurants within one mile of me by offering something no one else has. I'll call it "Armadillo d' Referini."

Suppose you are not a good typist. You then get a printed copy of your master proposal document. On the "Objectives" page, you hand-write:
Differentiate Referini's Panini from other Italian restaurants by adding a unique menu item.

You scratch out the objective about creating a blogger buzz. Antonio did not mention that.

You just grew your master proposal by one objective, and perhaps some other content you added as well.

Free Business Proposal Samples

On the web, there are countless thousands of business templates for Microsoft® Office. I sorted through them until I found an excellent template. It has a great cover, table of contents, design, page numbers, and lots of little professional touches. I have provided a link to it as well as additional information on how to customize it. You will find your free proposal template on the More Web Resources page in the Book Buyers Only section of this website.