The Silvertrac Extra

The Major Mistake You’re Making in Your Proposals that 's Costing You Money

losing money on proposals

We recently conducted a webinar on Partnering with the Property Management Industry in which we covered the ways your security company can begin shifting from a vendor to a partner. If you haven’t seen that yet, you can click here to view it.

The first takeaway from the webinar was this:

Your proposals, services, and efforts should be about your client and their needs. If your proposal talks more about you than it does about them, you’re probably losing contracts.

Let’s take a closer look at this and uncover the major mistake most companies make when preparing a proposal.

Imagine being on safari deep in the Serengeti and coming upon a large heard of Zebra grazing in a wide open field. Suddenly your guide directs your attention to a specific Zebra he says has amazing markings. You scan the vast heard with your binoculars searching in vain. “Where, which one?” you ask stilling scanning intently.

“There, the one with black and white stripes.” Your guide points and says.

With a quizzical look on your face you drop your binoculars and look at your guide, “Really?”

Giving such an obviously generalized description is no help at all. It differentiates nothing specific that would help you in your search.

That sounds exactly like the security industry to me. I know because I fell into that exact same trap. When I was selling security services my proposal and bid packages were so amazing and filled with information I that I thought made me different.

It turned out that my proposals were exactly the same as everyone else’s. There was really nothing that separated it from the herd of other proposals and bid packages coming across my prospect’s desk.

Then an amazing thing happened. After talking to a few property managers and asking for an honest critique and their input, I discovered the proposal process is NOT about me or the company I represent. All the proposals and bid packages from security companies that talked about how great they were got flipped right to the back page to see what the pricing was. I found out that no matter how much I included about officer training or my “unique” management systems, it didn’t provide me with an advantage at all.

What I learned was simple psychology; without any noticeable differences in service the price became the only perceived difference. That means that it was extremely important that I actually included information that was important to them. I needed to find a way to include information in my proposal that addressed specific issues unique to that property and account.

This realization sent my on a journey to discover as much as I could about my client. What are their goals, motivations, issues and expectations?

Years in the industry, accountability, and how I was miraculously able to sift through the same gene pool of officers and magically find all the best ones meant nothing to my prospect.

What is truly important to them, and what the focus of your proposals and bid packages should be, is how you address specific issues. It is extremely important to highlight a clear plan of action and implementation plan that accomplishes the result your prospect is looking for.

Imagine being on that same hypothetical safari and the guide shouts and points out to you, “Look at that Zebra with spots!”

You’d probably immediately see it because it stands out from all the others, it’s something you’ve never seen before, and it’s so different. It’s amazing but such a seemingly minor change in making a proposal or bid package about the client, their goals, motivations, issues and expectations instead of yourself, nets an astonishing shift in your success in winning contracts. You can become the spotted Zebra!

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Johnny Page

Johnny is a Customer Success Enthusiast for Silvertrac Software who is passionate about business, technology, and (of course) our customers! Johnny spent time in the security industry in Business Development, Marketing, and Operations before joining the Silvertrac team.