Monday, October 10, 2011

Focus on Your Clients’ Real Issues

When people begin to strategize about proposal opportunities, they tend to focus on their own firm’s strengths and how they can sell those strengths to the client.

In other words, they end up making a great case for features for which the client has little interest while ignoring the client’s most important issues. This is a formula for spending lots of money on a losing proposal.

The first step in developing a winning proposal strategy is to find out what the clients’ real issues are. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to do. During your pre-proposal interview with the client, just ask these two questions:

1. What is your vision for a successful project?

2. What are your greatest fears about this project?

Also, remember that most clients aren’t a single person. So you need to ask those two questions of each individual on the selection committee or, if they don’t have a formal selection committee, each individual who is influential in making the buying decision.

Once you have figured out the clients’ real issues, your next step is to develop a strategy that will convince the client representatives that your firm will address their hopes and fears better than anyone else. And if you can’t convince yourself that you are the best choice to address those issues, you should probably save your time and money and pass on the opportunity.

To learn more about how to make a more targeted proposal that accurately addresses your clients’ true concerns and increase your proposal hit rate, join PSMJ this fall for our Winning Proposals and Presentations seminar, coming to 5 locations across North America. Get the tools and confidence you need to succeed in bringing in more work for the firm – register today!

1 comment:

Sonja Jefferson said...

Really good questions. Thank you.

Another good one I've found is 'Why did you select us to put forward a proposal?' The answers I have got from this have really helped me to frame the benefits of using my company. Nothing like hearing it in your clients own words.


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