Presenting proposals to outline the costs involved with your products and services is a necessary evil. What’s more important than sending them though, is what you do before and afterwards.
The keys are to:
- Understand their needs and price your product or service accordingly. If they like you and trust you, they’ll either pay a little more or let you know where you need to be in order to earn their business.
- Always speak with your prospect (ideally in person) when sending the proposal and walk them through it. Otherwise, you are just a number. If meeting in person or over the phone isn’t an option, make sure your delivery email clearly guides your client through the proposal, just as you would in person.
- After submitting the proposal, be responsive and elicit any kind of feedback. Even if you lose the business, it’s another chance to build the relationship by deepening your understanding of your client’s perspective. Sometimes “no” can be converted into “not now”, but you’ll never know without feedback.
“But what about price?”, I’m often asked. “Is it better to be the most expensive or the least expensive option?”
My response is always the same. I would take the former all day long. Here’s why:
If you have an actual relationship with the prospect, they will help guide you to where you need to be cost-wise. It’s far easier for them to curb back a few things and keep the quality and service high than it is to take a chance with a lowball offer, especially if quality and service could suffer.
As Benjamin Franklin once said:
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
In the event that your client counters with a price that is less than you had presented, you get to decide whether you’re willing to lower that price, accept less, or just say “no thank you” and walk away.