Improved Proposals

Joe Ardeeser, founder of Smart Pricing Table

October 11, 2023


Are your proposals holding you back? Welcome to The Marketing Accelerator Podcast… featuring three insights in about three minutes. I'm Drew Dinkelacker. Today I'm speaking with Joe Ardeeser - he's the founder of Smart Pricing Table, an interactive B2B proposal software company. Joe, if my proposals aren't converting…well, then my price is just too high…right?

Joe Ardeeser: Well, that's a common misconception, Drew, but I would say a lot of times, we don't win because our proposals actually aren't clear. It's the ambiguity that's the real enemy.

Drew: I hate ambiguity. A confused prospect never buys. So, what can we do to improve the proposal process?

Joe: Well, one way we can cut through that ambiguity and improve our close rate is to institute a proposal review meeting. And how this works, Drew, is I'd have an initial 30-minute discovery call with you. And at the end of that meeting, I'd say, “Well, Drew, the next step in our process is I'd like to schedule a 20-minute proposal review meeting.” I want to be able to talk through it with you, Drew; I don't want you on your own interpreting it. Right, so we talk through it. I can overcome objections. I can explain why I set things up, and I can even move it closer to closing in that call.

Drew: Getting that proposal review meeting booked as the first step - that's genius! Let's talk about the proposal itself. How do I put more value into a proposal?

Joe: The number one thing that comes to mind is optionality. So, optionality is really helpful because many times our customers or prospects don't actually know what they want. There's some confusion in the sales discussion. Well, just give them Option A, B and C. Are they interested in this other service? Well just put it on there as an option.

Joe: Another thing I like to do, we would have at my old company, we would have a section called additional items for consideration. You'll be surprised at how often someone will click on something because you just simply put it on the table. Finally, Drew, some people might think, well, I might end up down selling or getting someone to de-select something because of this method. I'd simply say this: I'd rather have 100% of 19,000, then 0% of 20, because I was just a tad too high.

Drew: Getting 100% is better than zero, every time! Thanks, Joe. The Marketing Accelerator Podcast is a production of, where we accelerate marketing leaders to higher performance and increased job satisfaction. I’m Drew Dinkelacker.