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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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Ask The Experts

February 16, 2024 |

What does a good sales proposal look like?

Are your sales prospects ghosting you? Jennifer Bleam offers some key dos and don’ts for a better sales proposal.

While developing sales proposals can be useful in some situations, formal proposals should rarely be the default option for MSPs. In my experience, prospects often ask for a proposal just to get rid of you when they have zero intention of buying from you.

Unfortunately, it’s normal for a salesperson to get excited when they hear the magical words, “Just send me a proposal.” The salesperson now believes they are closer to a sale, so they spend time creating a boring, generic proposal, and then email it to the prospect.

Often, the salesperson thereafter updates the opportunity to “99% sure we will close this sale,” and tells their manager, “Got one in the bag, Boss!”

But what really happens next is absolutely nothing. The prospect ghosts the salesperson. That’s when the salesperson grumbles about how all prospects are horrible – when the reality is that the salesperson lost control of the sale.

If your sales process requires you to leverage proposals, here are some guidelines you must follow:

Jennifer Bleam

  • Don’t email a proposal. But if you must email the proposal, then include everything except the price. If you reveal the price in writing, it always will be more expensive than the prospect expected – even if you quoted it verbally and got the prospect’s approval – and they will not buy.
  • Always get a firm next step (commitment) from the prospect. Call this a tie down or a micro-commitment. I call this “controlling the sale.” You must ask, “If the information the proposal has in writing aligns with everything we’ve just talked about – that you agreed you needed – are we moving forward?”
  • Deliver value, set in the mind of the prospect. Do not list endless features, details, speeds, and feeds. Rather, lean into benefits to the prospect personally and professionally.
  • Present the proposal in person (or via zoom). A piece of paper rarely makes a sale. A proposal cannot read the room, diffuse objections, dodge, weave, and artfully close the deal. A human is required to do that.
  • Include social proof. To the buyer, IT and cybersecurity services feel like a necessary evil. Ideally, your sales process showcases how your services are different and why you’re the natural choice for this organization. But in case you skipped that part or the prospect wasn’t listening, include as many case studies, testimonials, “as featured in” banners, etc. This shows that other people trust your advice.

Remember: Delivering a sales proposal may be required. Confirm you have a sale before creating a proposal. And be sure to follow the rules.

Happy selling!

Jennifer Bleam, founder of MSP Sales Revolution, is an award-winning speaker, a respected leader in the IT channel, and a two-time best-selling author. Get to know more amazing facts about Bleam on channelWise.

Have a question? Email our experts now!

Image: iStock

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