There are a couple of key components of a winning commercial proposal that it is critical that you make sure to include. The very first one is you need to demonstrate to your prospect that you understand what their pain or problem is. They do not care about all of the features and benefits of your business. They only care about that as it relates to their pain or problem. In order for people to make the decision to buy, they need first to feel understood. It does not matter whether or not they understand you, but they do need to feel that you understand them. It’s critical that you do this throughout the proposal process, specifically in your proposal.

You need to include some sort of listing and reference to their problem, their pain. Then you need to be able to tie your solution specifically to their pain. You need to be able to show how what you do is going to solve their problem. So again you know if you’re talking about your processes and your systems, make sure that you tie it specifically to something that’s important to them. Not that you’re just spouting off about how wonderful your company is in a general way.

Then the other really key component is that you address and that you overcome their objections. You cannot simply ignore their objections. Their objections are valid. You need to show that you recognize them. That you know what they are. Not only do that by addressing them, but you overcome them. So if for example you think they’re going to have objections around your price, you need to be able to demonstrate why your price makes sense for them.

How paying more is going to solve their problem.

How the current problem that they have with regard to quality or reliability or whatever it is, is in fact tied to a low price.

So you have to address and overcome their objections.

I want to talk just a little bit about what are some of the things that you specifically want to include, you know what does it look like. There are three different levels that I’m going to talk about. The first level is, these are the basics. These are the things that should be included in every commercial proposal.

The first one is your title page.

People love to see the name of their business in writing, so make that big and bold. The name of your business and the date much smaller.

You also need to have a cover letter, very important.

Then there is where you’re also going to reference again their pain and your solution.

Then you’re going to have the scope of work. That’s critical, if they provided it you can just reference it in your proposal. But you have to tie that together.

Then you’re going to talk about of course pricing and specifications.

Specifications is very specific you know. Who’s going to do what. Who is responsible for what and when. Your pricing terms. You’re getting paid in advance, and you know how you’re going to be getting a raise every year. All those kinds of things. Then of course you want your conclusions and summary. That’s really important. Again that’s where you’re going to reference their pain in your solution.

So these are sort of the basic things that you have to include as Key Components of a Winning Commercial Proposal.

The next category is what I call supplement.

Also depending on the size of the contract, and the level of detail in which you want to go you may also sometimes include some supplemental information. Which may be things like certificates of insurance, copies of your license. It may be letters of recommendation, or references. That’s supplemental.

Then you have to call icing.

If it’s a really Prime and you want to have a little icing on the cake, you might talk about things like your quality control program in a very simple way, a half a page summary. You might talk about your HR and training processes. Depending on what type of industry it is you might reference your confidentiality policies, and how you address that if it’s a big giant thing.

There’s going to be a long period of transition you may want to include a transition scheduled to show that you’re able to easily and seamlessly transition into this account.

You may want to include an organizational chart.

If it’s really big, you may even talk about business continuity. You know your emergency plan, and what will happen to the business should something happen to you.

Now don’t get carried away with this icing stuff. You don’t need to be including this icing stuff on every single five-thousand-dollar a month proposal that you do. I just kind of wanted to give you an overview of what is in the Supplement. Then if it’s really a big deal, and you really kind of want to go wild and really make a great impression. More importantly don’t forget the other items that we talked about. Which we’re understanding their pain and tying your solution to their pain.

Those are the Key Components of a Winning Commercial Proposal.