I’m sure you’ve experienced a sales pitch or presentation where the speaker’s focus is all over the place. They seem to randomly wander from one subject to another with no segue or thread of logic to help you follow their meandering musings.
Written content can fall prey to the same problem. The longer an article goes on, the more the writer tends to wander beyond the boundaries of the original theme. They start writing about French cooking but somehow by the end of the article they’ve talked about the French revolution, playing the French horn, and the final paragraph is about shirts with French cuffs.
The problem is a lack of Singular Focus
As much as people tout their ability to multitask, humans can really only focus on one thing at a time. The myth of multitasking is really just people jumping back and forth between different tasks instead of focusing on one task to completion.
In a face-to-face pitch or written proposal or marketing and sales copy of any nature, a lack of singular focus can lose the sale (and then what are you gonna do?).
The purpose of your sales copy or presentation is to get your prospect to take a specific action — primarily saying Yes to your pitch and agreeing to move forward with your offer. If your text or words drift off course from your true north (the desired outcome of your proposal), your prospect will at best have more questions about these new topics being introduced, and at worst will become confused (and perhaps annoyed) by the new details presented and it will stall (or totally kill!) your chance at getting a signed contract today.
If your proposal is for printing ballpoint pens with your client’s logo on them, your proposal should include all the pertinent details you’ve already agreed on: type of pen, color of ink, the imprint artwork, quantity, cost, and turnaround time. That’s it — sign here and the project can go into product tomorrow morning.
- It is not the time to start talking about the 10,000 other items you can produce with a logo printed on it.
- It is not the time to start suggesting other pen styles you offer.
- It is not the time to talk about price breaks at increased quantities.
The time for those things was before you created the proposal.
Let’s say your customer loves the idea of adding in some custom printed sticky notes to package along with the logo pens. What happens now? You aren’t getting a signature on your current proposal. You have to go back and get new pricing, make revisions to the existing paperwork, schedule another appointment to come back and meet with your prospect, and pitch the entire deal all over again.
I’m not saying up-sells aren’t a great idea.
I’m saying you should have covered all those things during your discovery and solution and proposal preparation phases (so they could be included in the proposal as part of the entire agreement and already accounted for within the budget).
Alternatively, get the current proposal for the pens signed and closed as a done deal. Put the signed agreement into your folder and now broach the subject of adding some sticky notes to the project. Treat the sticky notes as a new order, or an add-on to the existing project.
Don’t let a lack of singular focus cause you to renegotiate, delay (or lose!) the entire project.