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Proposal types

After personal sales, the proposal is one of the most important parts of the sales process. It is an extension of a first contact or conversation and forms the basis for a lasting relationship. There are several types of proposals. What species are there and what are they used for?

Offerte types toegelicht

Proposals requested and unsolicited

The first distinction may be made in requests and unsolicited proposals. When a customer or prospect asks for a proposal, this is a first sign of confidence. Build this and be attentive to meeting appointments, for example when the customer or prospect can expect the proposal. You can also send unsolicited proposals. This is done more often by start-ups, usually in the form of a mailing combined with a proposal. In order to increase the scoring chance of these offers, it is important to be able to write mailings.

Fixed proposals or non-binding proposals

A fixed proposal is a proposal that is valid until a certain period of time. During this period, the offerer is legally bound to its offer. So he or she can't come back on it. The client or prospect is not attached to it. It is only stuck after an oral or written agreement. The concept of non-binding proposal is what one generally uses. Yet there are misunderstandings about these proposals. Many customers or prospects are assuming that the non-commitment is intended for them. However, the opposite is true. A non-binding proposal is only without obligation for the bidding party. There is no validity period in a non-binding proposal. The offerer may therefore change its terms at any time. If a customer returns to a proposal after a year and the prices have increased, then the bidding party may indicate that the offer in question is no longer valid.

The product proposal

Products are tangible and more concrete than services. However, this does not mean that a product proposal does not require any explanation or motivation. Giving product specifications and naming the advantages and disadvantages can be reasons for the customer or prospect to place an order. In addition, the present expertise is shown. Not everyone is interested in (technical) details. A customer may find certain delivery times, prices or volume discounts more important. Try to find out during a conversation so that the proposal can be tailored as much as possible to the needs of the customer or prospect. Product specifications can also be included as an attachment.

The service proposal

Some sales professionals find making service kertes more difficult than product proposals. Offerings of services are often less tangible. One sells, as it were, a promise. The customer only experiences the added value afterwards. In order to convince the customer or prospect of the added value of a service, one can include customer experiences in the proposal, proposal a best practice example or add a customer case to the proposal. In this way, the proceeds of a service are visualised in concrete terms. Service kertes are judged mainly on care, presentation and credibility. Therefore, pay special attention to providing clear, relevant information and ensure that the offer is visually appealing. Confidence is created by showing in the proposal that the situation or request for help is well understood. The customer or prospect feels heard by this and is reassured by this. Invest in a good conversation, listen carefully and ask if necessary.

The project proposal

Project offerings are extensive offers with a proposed approach. These proposals are often extensive and the execution of a project usually takes a longer period of time. It is not uncommon for several parties or disciplines to be involved in the execution. As project officers exchanged valuable information, it is worthwhile to have a declaration of confidentiality signed in advance by all parties involved. It states that all information should be treated as confidential and that it may not be shared, copied or modified with anyone else. A major advantage of a declaration of confidentiality is that the likelihood of abuse is significantly reduced as it has financial consequences. Legally one stands much stronger. If a party nevertheless shares information, it is not necessary to go to court. This is due to the penalty clause contained in the confidentiality agreement.

The tender

A proposal or proposal offer consists of a procedure for which bidding parties register by means of a proposal. The aim of customers or prospects is, on the one hand, to receive sharper tariffs while at the same time stimulating competition between companies. It is a transparent way and the requirements (selection criteria and award criteria) are the same for each participating party and clearly set out in advance in a 'Programme of Eises'. Technical and functional specifications are also included in the Programme of Requirements so that the offerers have a good idea of the requirements and expectations. Because of the fair and transparent process, tendering is usually done on large orders from the government.


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