How Much Information Should You Give Away In A Proposal?

If you have to ask the question, you are headed down the wrong track. If you give away your knowledge in a written proposal before the prospect has committed to give you a yes or no decision, you are setting yourself up to lose. Failure to do this will almost certainly produce an “I want to think it over” response from the prospect. At that point you have just been “rolled” and have become victim to Free Consulting. After all, when the prospect has all of your information why do they need you?

To avoid this what should you do? Only deal with prospects with which you can quickly develop a relationship of mutual trust and respect. These are people who need, want, and can afford your services and are willing to buy from you. When there is mutual trust and respect, the prospect will share information, and make commitments to do business with you if you can meet his or her conditions of satisfaction.

These conditions are agreed upon before any work is done or any analysis or proposal is generated. Before any proposal is generated the prospect must decide that you are the person they want to work with. Instead of closing at the end of the proposal process you are, in effect, closing up front. Before the prospect buys your product or service they must first buy you. As you work with the prospect to mutually decide on the solution to their problems and the costs associated with the solution, the proposal will verbally evolve by mutual agreement.

Prospects with whom you have a relationship of mutual trust and respect will be honest about this process. Prospects who refuse to be honest and try to make you jump thru hoops, like some trained animal, simply are not worth the effort. The best thing you can do when you encounter them is to disqualify them quickly and move on to prospects that will be real. This is not easy or natural. It requires a lot of courage and training to do this consistently.

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