It’s no secret that sales is a profession that will push you to your mental limits. The highs are unreal and the lows can make you question your whole existence. A while back, my team and I hit this wall where we didn’t see any movement in our close rates. It was frustrating. I had us practicing and training different closing techniques and tactics and none of them helped much. After doing extensive research it dawned on me. We weren’t breaking down during the close or with overcoming objections, we just weren’t taking enough swings of the bat! Now, I know that may confuse you at first but stay with me.
So let’s take a small test group of 20 customers. Out of those 20 customers we only closed about 25% which is 5 customers. Of those 20 customers, we only presented pricing to about 40% of them which is 8 customers. So from the proposals that we presented we closed 5 out of 8 and that’s a 62.5% close rate (very strong)! So, we weren’t hitting this wall because we sucked at closing. We hit the wall because we weren’t taking enough swings of the bat!
Well I guess not all swings of the bat are ideal. But after that point our main goal was to propose 100% of customers. This meant that I had to implement a sales process. It was going to help us stay on track. Not only that but if we never got to the proposal then we would have to reverse engineer the interaction to figure out where the sale broke down. Knowing where everything broke down allowed us to know where we were failing. Ultimately, the goal is to get the sale. Now, we can’t close everyone so ideal place for you to lose a sale is in the close itself (which is step 5).
Our results were awesome! With those same 20 customers from before we increased our proposal rate to about 70% or 14 customers. We finally started to see great improvement with our close rate from the 25% to 33%. Our close rate off proposals was just short of 50% so this number decreased but this’ll happen since we presented more proposals. All the movement in our close rate had my team and I like…
This can be you too but there are some important things to know about the proposal. I broke them all down for you so it’s nice and easy.
My Killer Sales Process
The in depth breakdown of the sales process is what lead to a lot of my team and I’s success. Structure will help you in sales and don’t get me wrong you don’t want to be robotic. This sales process doesn’t make you robotic. It gives you the framework to know where you are at in the sales process at all times and how to move along to get closer to the close.
If you need any help at all with a sales process check out mine here.
- Greeting/First Impressions (How to Perfect Your Greeting Here)
- Questions: Needs/Wants Analysis (The Best Questions to Ask Your Clients Here)
- Find Product/Service and Demo to Build Value (The Best Way to Build Value Here)
- Present Proposal to Make the Deal Real
- Ask for the Sale/The Close/The Referral
Successes from the Proposal
- Increases close rate. More swings of the bat equals more hits. It’s science.
- Increases revenue. This’ll increase revenue for the company as well as revenue in your bank account. Everyone loves more money.
- Makes the deal real. This can’t be verbal it has to be written, drawn up, or typed up. When the proposal is real the deal is real.
- One step closer to the close. Knock out step 4 and that leaves step 5. All you need to do is finish this step and you get the sale. Payday.
- Customers need to see cost to buy. No one can buy from you without knowing the numbers. Show them the numbers you get one step closer to the final “yes.”
- Builds trust. People do not trust salespeople. Now I am sure that you sell with integrity (as you should) but you need all the help you can get. Showing numbers on paper confirms that you are trustworthy.
- Tests seriousness. Your client goes from looker to buyer when you present a proposal.
- Stall tactic. It’s a stall tactic if your customer is there with you in person. I’m not a fan of adding time to sales processes but sometimes slowing things down is needed to bide more time for the close.
- Get your client’s information. This will help you capture more client’s information. The more you get the better because you’ll have a lot more follow up opportunities. The gold is in the follow up.
- Give you another opportunity to ask to buy. Present the numbers and ask your client to buy. Always ask to buy and ask one more time. The typical customer buys after the 5th time you asked them to buy. 70% of salespeople don’t even ask to buy once!
- Tool to pull out objections. Proposals can help you pull out objections. You pull out the objection and that’ll give you the perfect opportunity to overcome it. Check out my post on the best way to overcome objections here.
- Tool to remember you. A written proposal is a great tool to remember you. It’s better than nothing or a card with a price written on it.
- Eliminates surprises. Ever give someone a price and forget tax, fees, or delivery costs? It’s the worst. Putting everything out there makes it seem like you’re not hiding anything, prevents customer issues/confusion, and helps you remember to add it up right.
- Add-ons. Perfect segway for add-ons. If you have a protection plan/warranty you can price everything up even with the warranty and it’s the perfect opportunity to sell it. Especially great if you forgot to talk about till that point in time.
Bet you didn’t think all these great things could come from something as simple as a proposal did you?!
Don’t worry neither did I for the longest time. 🙂
5 Important Steps While Presenting the Proposal
I know it may seem like it’s no big deal but how you present the proposal will impact the close. Set yourself up for success because you need every little bit you can get to help you.
- Present it while sitting. If your clients are standing, attempt to get them to sit. Sitting will get them relaxed instead of trying to dip out.
- Stay sitting. I have had clients get up and leave and I just stay sitting. Sitting implies that something has changed and it’s alright to leave. Stay sitting as long as possible and go for the close. Trust me this’ll help you close more sales.
- Present on paper. I know I mentioned earlier but this is the most important part of the proposal. Most people are kinesthetic learners and a good portion are visual learners. Both require seeing a breakdown of numbers to understand how/why something is priced a certain way.
- Price up everything. You want to show everything on the proposal including products, services, fees, taxes, number of items, warranties, original prices, sales prices, etc. Get to the total or out the door price. Show the original price for everything before sale price. Most salespeople don’t do this but if your customer doesn’t see the savings they receive it won’t create excitement and urgency. If you show the original price that’s your starting point. If you show the sale price that’s your starting point. I’d rather have my starting point be at a $4,999.99 original price vs. a $3999.99 sale price, wouldn’t you?
- Show financing. If you have financing, use the proposal to show your financing options (if you don’t finance disregard this). Financing typically increases your average sale and the amount your clients spend. An open line of credit makes clients more likely to come back. Also, add-ons and negotiations are ten times easier. Put everything into a monthly payment instead of a total price. $600 sounds awful compared to $5/month… That’s only a cup of coffee.
Objections with the Proposal
Having the goal of 100% proposal rate will start to create some new problems for you. It’ll make you question, “how in the hell do you do that?” Now, I never got my team to 100% but we did almost double our proposal rate. We were getting a lot of push back from people wanting pricing. You get push back or objections for one of two reasons. First, the product you picked in step 3, find product/build value, is the wrong product. In which case that’s your breakdown and where you need to improve. Second, customers will resist because they know if you show them numbers you are one step closer to closing them.
These things happen so just work on overcoming the objections. Find out how long it takes for you to get pricing. The best way to overcome objections with the proposal are to insist that the pricing will only take X minutes and that the customer will be able to take it home as reference. This shows you will be respectful of their time and put them at ease because you reference them taking it home and not buying. Even though you mention this you still ask to buy and go for the close because they may be ready to buy but hold off because no one is asking them.
Let these suggestions be a way for you to get some real movement with closing more sales! More bat swings means more homeruns! Who doesn’t want that!?
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