One of the reasons why sales people who are trained in consultative selling methods can find it challenging to write bids and proposals is because the writing process lacks the feedback loop that they are used to. On the other hand, bidders who are successful in picking up new business through formal bids and tenders — even with prospects they’ve never met or spoken with before — are great at providing insight into the problems and issues the prospect is likely to be facing based on what they know about the clients that they are already doing business with. These assumptions, based on their expertise, are what form the core messages of their winning bid.
One of my favourite sales experts is Jill Konrath, who wrote the book Selling to Big Companies and who writes an excellent blog on sales. She also has a lot of great ideas about successful strategies for achieving cut-through with what she calls “crazy-busy prospects”, who just aren’t interested in educating suppliers any more.
In this video, Jill has posted the best and most succinct example I’ve seen so far as to why making assumptions works in sales. It will only take 90 seconds to watch and Jill has thoughtfully provided a summary as well, so you can read it if you’re not in a position to listen.