Chapter 7

Setting Yourself Apart From Your Competitors

IN THIS CHAPTER

Demonstrating the features and benefits of your solution

Selling yourself with discriminators

Proving to customers that your solution works

In this chapter, we start to look at the actual writing of the proposal. Sure, you may have written your topical outline by now (refer to Chapter 6), and if you’re not used to writing, that may have felt like a huge task in itself. You may have also worked with your sales lead to boil your customer’s hot buttons and your solution’s key benefits into a one-sentence, memorable win theme (refer to Chapter 2). And you’ve supported this cornerstone concept with a number of supporting proposal themes that you’ll echo throughout the proposal (refer to Chapter 6 again). But really, you’ve only just started.

If the win theme is the cornerstone of your proposal, the benefits — those tangible improvements to your customer’s business that your solution brings — and the discriminators — those advantages that only you can bring to your customer’s solution — represent the framework of your proposal. They serve two main purposes:

  • They make your solution meaningful to your customer. Benefits and discriminators reinforce that your solution will take away the customer’s pains that stem from its problem or need. They express the whys that persuade customers to buy. They place you and your solution inside the workings of the customer’s business, and that makes your solution real to your ...

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