A commercial offer is the face of the company, effective advertising and your real chance to get a client. How? Provide on the pages of the commercial proposal a reasoned confirmation of your professionalism. By showing interest and personalizing the offer, you put a “+” in favor of your company. Finally, a commercial offer is the first step towards concluding a contract.
CP (commercial proposal) is like a secret elixir of eternal life: everyone is trying to force it out, especially the competitors, in order to surpass it and do better. Well, we will make it easier for them. In this article, Ekaterina Mutruk, Head of Sales at Studio Webmaster, explains:
How to compose and beautifully process a commercial offer that sells.
What nuances should young companies take into account in order to have a chance to compete with business titans on an equal footing.
““Since our company specializes in custom development, we need to be clear about what the client wants. To do this, we ask them a number of questions, and based on the answers received, we draw up an optimal commercial offer. There are no two identical commercial offers, because there is no single template that will convince anyone to order a service from you” - says Ekaterina Mutruk.
Conducting a small survey before preparing the commercial proposal allows you to formulate its content as accurately as possible and give the client a more interesting offer than the competitors. What do we ask, for example, if a client wants to order the creation of a website or a mobile application:
What does your company do?
What do you want to show on the website / in the application?
The purpose of creating a website / application?
Are there many products / services and their varieties?
Is there an internal accounting program used (like 1C)?
What sites / apps do you like?
Will there be online payment for goods? In which country?
What platforms should the application run on (IOS / Android)?
Do you plan to promote the site in the future?
““In addition, we can offer related services, such as logo design, if it is not available. We always listen attentively to every word, because a seemingly banal trifle can turn out to be an important nuance for a client. We always ask again if everything is clear. Many clients do not understand the technical aspects of building a website and just nod their heads because they are embarrassed to ask. BUT! In no case should you feel embarrassed by misunderstanding, because a client comes to aq specialist, and with us, as with a doctor, you need to talk honestly about the problems in order to achieve a better result. Sometimes, due to a reluctance to admit a misunderstanding, clients do not see what they expected in the commercial offer - Ekaterina comments.
When you know what the client needs, focus on getting the most value out of your proposal. Create a project in your mind, think over the little things. The commercial proposal should contain a figurative and emotional representation of how the customer's life will change for the better after purchasing the product from you, so that they want to conclude a cooperation agreement and make an advance payment as soon as possible.
The proposal must necessarily have a clear structure (for example, first you offer a logo, then website development, then SEO promotion, hosting, etc.). What is this for? So that the client is not confused. We must not forget that the majority of customers are not IT specialists, many of them do not even suspect that a website cannot be created without a logo or that it will not start selling without SEO.
The CP must be spelled correctly. Why? Because this is the face of the company, and if you do not know how to spell a certain word correctly, then how can you provide the services that these very words mean, at a high level? For control, use the online spell checker services.
The CP should be understandable for the average user. Do not forget that the client is not a specialist, so you should not write abstruse phrases. You need to try to describe the functionality in the most simple words. Not a CNC, header and footer, but an easy-to-read URL, the top and bottom of the site page.
The TP should be specific. There is no need to write, just so there is something to fill the volume. The client, although not an expert, is definitely not stupid, so they can easily distinguish empty promises from a real offer.
Everything that is described in the proposal, the manager must be able to explain. If you yourself do not know what a particular module means, or do not understand how it works, then be sure to check with competent colleagues or read it yourself. Otherwise, at a meeting with a customer, you will look very stupid, which with 99% accuracy will lead to losing them.
100% compliance with the wishes/requests of the client. If a client wants a business card site for placing consulting services on it, then there is no need to offer an online store. Focus on their needs: the first thing the customer should feel is your desire to help, and only then to sell.
The CP should be visually beautifully designed. Isn't it pleasant for you to look at something beautiful? For example, on a shop window, which by its appearance beckons to go inside and buy something. The commercial proposal should also be so visually appetizingly designed so as not to raise doubts about the desire to buy. Therefore:
Make sure that everywhere in the text there are correct and equal indents.
Do not allow meaningless transfer of two lines to other pages.
It is important to have your company logo on every page.
The text blocks on each page should be written in the same font.
“Ideally, a business proposal should be visually designed in accordance with the style of the company. For example, we use a corporate font in conjunction with a logo. It is advisable to choose one color palette, because the commercial proposal will look completely frivolous, where one page is blue and the other is pink” - says Ekaterina Mutruk.
What is important to the client when choosing a contractor? They must be sure that the company is reliable and that a sufficient number of employees work in it to deliver the project on time. This is where the first thematic block follows.
It should contain brief information about the company and its employees. It is advisable to attach a photo of the team so that the customer does not have the idea that the sales manager, programmer and SEO are one person.
The phrase "We are the best on the market!" will not say anything about you other than the lack of real achievements. Convince the client of your professionalism and positive reputation, backing up your words with medals, awards and other regalia, if any.
When the customer thinks: “Hmm, you can trust these guys!”, It's time to make them a lucrative offer. Consider the requirements for compiling a commercial proposal and try to personalize this block as much as possible. Be sure to describe what is included in the service, what are the terms of its implementation, as well as the cost. No one will even consider a commercial proposal without the prices.
But what if the customer does not know that they may need additional services to successfully launch and promote the site? For example, hosting, SEO. If you provide services related to the one that the client wants to order, give them a short description with the prices after the “Offer” block.
A very important block for a CP, because the person who gives their money wants to know when and on what it will be spent. Briefly but succinctly describe each stage of cooperation with the client.
It's time to remove objections by providing examples of your work. It can be slides, screenshots, links, it all depends on the field of activity. But it is better for the results of your work to be beautifully presented and to convince that you are eloquent in the quality of the services you provide.
Placing the logos of famous domestic and foreign brands with which you worked will replace 1000 words. “Did you really work with Moldova-Agroindbank? And have you created an application for Hyundai Moldova? ” - surprise and delight in such questions of the customer indicates that subconsciously they have already chosen you. Or they will choose you, if the other company does not have clients with the same “big” names in its arsenal.
The last and decisive block, which puts a fat point in the choice of a contractor. Proving that you really worked with well-known companies is possible only with the help of letters of gratitude from the heads of these very companies or their reviews with a signature and seal.
Important! The structure of the commercial proposal may vary depending on the specific task, but the sequence of presentation of information must always be followed.
If you do not have special skills in drawing up a commercial proposal and a clear portfolio, clients known throughout the country and other regalia, then catch our life hacks to confidently present yourself.
The first thing that Ekaterina Mutruk advises: “Make the CP memorable, unusual and bright. Play with the design. This will show your creativity. If you don't have a portfolio - spend time, resources and create several of your sites. ”
Recommendations that will allow you to avoid gross mistakes in the preparation of the commercial proposal, and in some cases even save your reputation:
Laconicism in CP is your everything. Don't write a lot of texts because entrepreneurs are not ready and will not read it. It's like with advertising banners: your eye clings to an extraordinary picture, and you probably don't even notice the banal advertising of diapers. The same is with the abundance of text: in the commercial it is perceived simply as a background.
Bold and italic. It is advisable not to emphasize important points in the text in italics, bold or other colors (excluding headings and subheadings). Outside is the end of 2019, the client needs to be taken with the content, and leave the bold font to the students with their term papers.
A black background is not the best solution. Most people perceive black text better on light backgrounds. Text blocks appear unreadable on a black background. Trust me, no one will make an extra effort to figure out what a great company you are.
Format. PDF is the optimal solution. In a Word document, the presentation is made mainly by those who have not yet mastered more modern programs and formats. The problem is that when you open a file with a CP in different versions of Word, the formatting gets confused and words with images scatter in different corners of the document. This offer will be closed immediately.
Sending commercial proposals by SMS. Ironically, some salespeople do this. Moreover, there are those who simply create screenshots of the CP and send them via Viber. Of course, this is ridiculous, extremely unprofessional and speaks of the complete inability of a specialist to conduct business correspondence. Send the commercial to the e-mail specified by the client or send it in person in a printed and stitched form.
Yes Yes. This is the old format of our commercial proposal. Back then, dinosaurs like Flash sites were still alive. But we know how to admit our mistakes, because we learn from them. So, what's “bad” about this fragment of the CP:
a very small image of our team;
too much text on the page.
We took into account the shortcomings of past years and recreated the design completely:
Here the situation is already better: the text is readable and structured. But there is still a lot of it, moreover, there is no visual confirmation that a team of specialists, and not one person, will be working on the project.
What we do: remove the unecessary, leave only the most important information, add a photo of the team. It is better to take pictures in the office, so you confirm the reality of your business. Few would dare to pay several thousand dollars for the creation of an online store if they suspect its freelancing.
The important thing is not to answer your future customers like this:
A commercial offer is the first step towards concluding an agreement with a client, and it depends only on them whether the second one will be. It is important not only to work out the content, but also the visual part: it should be as easy as possible to interact with the information presented in the CP.
Be honest with the customer and do not promise in the CP what you cannot actually fulfill. Adhere to the requirements specified in the article and stand out from the competition with the help of an original design.