Monday, June 4, 2007

Creating a Client-
centered Proposal

To create a client-centered proposal, a client-centered solution must be
first developed.

Uncover the answers to these questions. Base every proposal and sales presentation on the answers. These questions will help you develop the client-centered solution. The payoff: a better chance at landing the client's business.

What is the client's problem?
Look at it from the viewpoints of the major stakeholders. An IT manager sees the lack of online access to customer account information as a database integration problem. The VP of Sales sees it instead as a revenue problem since it hinders the sales force from identifying the profitability of clients.
Why is it a problem?
Who is affected and how are they affected? Trace this up the organizational ladder. This will give you a sense of the extent of the pain and the stakeholders.
What objectives does the client perceive constitutes a successful solution?
How will the client measure success? In terms of business, financial, organizational, or technological improvements?
Which are the two most important objectives?
Which one matters the most? This prioritizes your presentation of key outcomes. Put the client's most important outcome first. Knowing the most important objectives clues you in on the way to develop the value proposition.
What are the ways to solve the client's problem?
Brainstorm. Determine the "best" way since there are usually several.
What are the probably outcomes from each potential solution?
While any of the potential solutions may fix the problem, you want the outcome that will most closely match the client's expectations.
Which is the best solution?
This should be obvious if the previous six questions were answered.

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