You are in sales, but more important you are in the value creation business. You want to help your prospect make a positive decision to do business with you. When you reach the stage of submitting a proposal it will come at the moment you have laid the foundation for a positive decision. The moment comes after…

  • You have had a positive introduction. This may come in the form of a referral, a testimonial, or relevant marketing you shared that appealed to the buyer.
  • You have built rapport. This is where you establish credibility. Your appearance, reputation, and ease that you converse with the prospect sets the tone. You are subtly selling your integrity, and nothing else.
  • You have discovered the wants and needs of the prospect. This is the most overlooked and underdeveloped aspect of the sales process. This is where you discover wants and needs and their importance to the organization and the decision maker.

Here are 6 components of a powerful, influential proposal;

  1. A thorough and detailed understanding of a prospect’s situation.
  2. The specific objectives you will help your prospect achieve.
  3. Your detailed approach to achieving those objectives.
  4. What specific measurable outcomes will be achieved for your prospect.
  5. How long delivery will take and what the investment is.
  6. A powerful and convincing summary of why the prospect should do business with you including a focus on the return on investment.

If you follow these components you will reduce the chance of getting a “maybe,” or a “let me think it over.” The prospect will appreciate the level of preparation you have done, and seeing a proposed solution aligned directly with their problem.

It is likely you will get a YES. If you get a NO, all is not lost. You can methodically go back to each component and ask questions like;

Did I understand your current situation?

Has anything changed with the objectives you stated?

Is there something in the proposal that is unclear, or makes you uncomfortable about moving forward?

Stay focused on helping prospects buy what they need. This requires a conversation, not a pitch. Your conversations about value creation and customer needs are essential in the world of professional sales.

Let’s schedule time to discuss a proposal you made that didn’t result in closed business.



Two things in my DNA lead to a career in sales. My curiosity and my love of building relationships with quality people.

I believe the best sales organizations invest in the development of their people. You improve the sales process when you improve the people involved. I have seen firsthand sales organizations that did not believe in the professional and personal growth of their people. The result? Friction, confusion and underperformance.

Consistent sales growth is one of many challenges a business faces. In my role as a consultant I have the opportunity to dig deeper to uncover issues related to strategy, communication, and professional development.

To quote Daniel Pink; "we are all in sales now." My promise to you is to develop the people in your organization who serve your customers. It's no longer just the Sales Department. Your sales strategy must be crystal clear, and communicated respectfully throughout your entire organization.

Author's recent posts

One Simple Step Will Create a World-Class Culture In Your Business

World class talent is discovered and developed with the benefit of this type of objective tool. I am a Sales Coach, but I spend most of my time in the Culture Creation business. The best business cultures have an understanding of how to blend talent to meet business objectives.