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I had the opportunity to be a buyer of some B2B services a couple of months ago. The seller in this case was begging us to waste a lot of his time.
He kept contacting me and the other decision-makers asking to send us a proposal but there’s one major problem – he did not get us interested in his product in the first place!
It’s odd to me that so many sales people (and business owners) want to send out proposals. Proposals take time to write (even with templates or proposal generators). We are all extremely short on time. Sales managers and business owners, shouldn’t care how many proposals you “have out”. They should care about how many deals (and dollars) you close.
From what I have seen too many sales people beg clients to receive a proposal from them when they have not sold the decision-makers on their proposition.
In the situation I encountered the sales person conducted a very mediocre sales presentation that was very light on probing questions and way too heavy on him being a “talking head”. The decision-making team would never had said “yes” if the seller had asked “are you interested?” but he did not ask, he said “I would love to send you a proposal”.
Well, what do we lose as buyers by allowing him to send us a proposal? We don’t have to spend any time on writing the proposal and hey there might be some useful information in there (maybe we could use some of it in a discussion with his competitors)!
Your objective is to sell everyone in the decision-making process. You can use documents to help sell these people but you should aim to “co-author” these documents with the decision-makers not guess what they want and write up your guess in a proposal.
If you guess what people want, you will usually be wrong. They will not call you back and you won’t get a deal. Your proposal will have gone to “Neverland”.