Messages that Matter: Question 7—Why are we the right choice?

 

Posted By Dr. Tom Sant | Feb 25, 2013

 

7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal

We have been reviewing the seven key questions that you must be able to answer to write a winning proposal:

  1. What is the client’s problem or need?
  2. Why is this problem worth solving?
  3. What results does the customer seek?
  4. Which specific result is the most important?
  5. What products or services can we offer that will solve the problem and deliver the right results?
  6. Of the solutions I can offer, which one is the best fit for this client?
  7. Why are we the right choice?

It's time to consider the final question:

Why are we the right choice?

What makes you the right choice? You are probably going to provide evidence to show that you are the best suited to handle the project. This is your opportunity to differentiate your firm from your competition.

So ask yourself: What is it that you do that no one else in your industry does? Does your company have a unique approach to a standard industry offering that differentiates you and adds value to your clients?

In answering these questions, try to avoid offering a generic laundry list of “advantages” or a page of marketing fluff. Instead, your goal should be to identify a few specific differentiators—based on your methods and systems, on your ability to manage a complex project, on the people you will provide, or on the facilities, tools, or other resources you can draw on—that make you the right choice.

Start by reviewing your answer to question # 4. That's where you identified the key outcome that the customer seeks. That should guide you to choose differentiators or strengths that support the notion you can deliver that Outcome more effectively than anyone else. If the client is trying to save money, mention those aspects of your product or service that make it cost effective. If the client is trying to eliminate errors and improve quality, focus on the differentiators that show you can do that.

Too often proposals contain a checklist of a dozen "reasons" why this particular vendor is the right choice. And equally often that checklist has nothing to do with the customer's needs or desired outcomes. For example, a large bank that does business around the world in 20 different currencies and in 30 different countries is probably proud of their global reach. They see it as a differentiator. But not if they're submitting a proposal to handle banking for a small sporting goods chain that only has three stores, all of which are located in the same city.

Your differentiators don't have to be unique, but they should at least be rare. What you want to do is select a handful of differentiators and create a "stack" of evidence from them that no other firm can offer. It's that stack that will be unique, even if there are one or two competitors who could claim some of the same strengths that you are highlighting.

Differentiators are important throughout the sales cycle, of course. A prospect is likely to ask what makes us different from our competitors at any point in the process. That's why it's such a good idea to provide your sales force with sales enablement tools that give them immediate, accurate and persuasive answers to that question.

Qvidian puts the power to sell in the hands of your seller by giving them access to the information they need exactly when they need it. Call us for a no obligation demonstration!

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