If you’re an entrepreneur, you likely either have had to make proposals to clients in the past, you still have to make them, or both. The process can be painful and uncomfortable, and it can feel like the boss at the end of the level we have to defeat before we can move on to the part we truly enjoy doing.

For years, I have hated this part of the process, and I often felt the pressure to land the client and “seal the deal.”

We’ve all felt that pressure, and it can be even worse when times are tough for our business, as we can feel like every sales pitch matters exponentially, and that it’s super important to get as much as we can out of each deal.

I don’t claim to be an expert in sales or even in acquiring clients, but here are some really important things I’ve learned over the years that have helped me a lot when it comes to proposals and winning clients:


Clients aren’t targets, they’re people

So often, we forget what it’s like to be on the other side of the sales pitch. It’s so important that we remember we’re talking to a real person who has feelings, needs, wants, and a bottomline that they need to reach, just like we do.

Don’t skip that. It’s so important to get to know them and what makes them tick. If you don’t understand who your customer is, how can you understand what they need and how you can help them?


Never try to sell anyone something they don’t need

I feel like I could camp out here for days. I’m a web and graphic designer, and I certainly could try and sell a client on everything I provide. I’d certainly profit largely if I could my full arsenal of services to every prospective client I talk to.

But here’s the thing, not every prospective client needs all my services.

If I can convince the prospective client to sign off on the Full Monty, I can make a quick payday, but the problem is that if they ever figure out I sold them something they didn’t need, I’ve lost their trust and their future business. Additionally, I don’t know about you, but referrals are everything in my industry. My reputation is not worth a quick buck, and neither is yours.


Sell them what they DO need

If you can safely and wisely navigate for the first two points, you should find yourself in a wonderful place of understanding who the client is and exactly what they need.

That’s a beautiful place to be because once you get there, you’re not really selling anymore — you’re simply telling the client how you can help them.

If you tell the truth, and they believe you, you move to a new place of defining value and quantifying your time.

It means you’re not pushing them into a shiny, new, red car that is outside their means. You’re showing them the hole in their roof that is going to lead to serious problems down the road, and you’re outlining how you can fix that hole and how much it will cost.

See the difference?


Honesty is everything

At the end of the day, people don’t want to be sold. They just want you to do what you say you’re going to. Every time.

Nobody is perfect, but if we sincerely try to always tell the truth and to keep our word, that will go a long way toward building a foundation for future success.


Kevin Haggerty

Kevin Haggerty

Owner/Operator - KR Graphix

This content was made available by Kevin Haggerty, one of our awesome Advisors for Cowork Gloucester VA! Kevin is the owner/operator of local web and graphic design firm, KR Graphix, and is also one of the co-founders and current co-owners of Cowork Gloucester VA. Find our more about Kevin and the rest of our advisors by clicking HERE.