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Sales insights: How to make an offer customers can’t refuse

Sales insights: How to make an offer customers can’t refuse

So, you’re in the discovery meeting with a prospect and you’ve asked all the right questions. You understand their business and you’ve identified how your amazing product/service/thing you do can drench them in value.

It’s an exciting moment, so you might be tempted to blurt out a price there and then. Or maybe you’ll happily skip out of the meeting promising a proposal.

Take a moment. You’ve worked hard to get that first meeting, so don’t ruin it now. It’s important to remember that how and when to make your sales offer is critical to your chances of success.

Here’s how to make a sales offer that’s almost impossible to refuse.

First, some definitions

Let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing. Here are our definitions:

  • Sales offer: Your solution (what the customer is buying from you) + the value (all the benefits they are getting) + the price (how much they are paying). A sales offer in writing is a proposal.
  • Quote: The price of your product/service. A quote can be verbal or written.
  • Presenting a sales offer: Making your sales offer in person to your prospect.
  • Closing: Asking your prospect to buy what you’re selling.

What not to do

1. Quote immediately

If, in your first meeting, you offer a verbal quote immediately, your prospect may think you’re offering a one-size-fits-all solution that isn’t tailored to them. They won’t feel special. And, because they may not have understood the value you can offer, they’ll judge you based on price alone.

2. Send a quote

Emailing a quote after a first meeting seems normal, right? But because a quote is basically just a price that doesn’t articulate value, it’s easy for your prospect to compare prices and go with the cheapest. Market leaders are not usually the cheapest in the industry. No one wins in a race to the bottom, and you don’t want to be in that race.

3: Email your proposal

Great job. So now you write your prospect an email, attach your proposal and hit send. OK? No, not OK. You might as well have given your prospect a price or sent a quote. The reason? A majority of your prospects will simply open your attachment and go straight to the price.

What to do

1: Create an amazing proposal

See Also

Your proposal is your solution plus the value it brings to the client plus the price. Your proposal should ooze value, and it’s worth putting in quality time going into depth about the value of your solution. Imagine that your prospect has your proposal in front of them and must convince his colleagues that what you’re providing is best for the company. They should be able to dip into your proposal and address their colleagues’ needs and solve their problems. Write your proposal with this in mind and you won’t go far wrong.

2. Offer the proposal in person 

It will always be better for you to present your proposal in person, as it puts you in a better position to have your sales offer accepted. Here’s why:

  • It prevents prospects from going straight to price comparisons.
  • It gives you the chance to really engage your audience about the value you can offer.
  • Their questions are a gold mine: you’ll learn something about their needs that you may have missed if you hadn’t been presenting, and be able to address it and can tackle reservations live.
  • You can gauge the level of interest and therefore be better informed about the sale. Maybe it will be a good time to close? Maybe you feel you need to involve somebody else? Perhaps you don’t have the decision-maker in the room? You can only gain this vital information if you’re actually in front of your prospect.

Being in front of the client while delivering your proposal increases your chance of success. Yes, just sending it is easier, but is it the right thing to do? Remember, you are in sales and your job is to be convincing, so convince the client you should be presenting to them.

Why not do your own research and look back over recent sales offers?  Go back through your last 20 proposals to compare closing ratios between proposals you presented in person and those you didn’t. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Peter Heredia is the managing director – MaxSales Solutions, sales coach and author


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