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  • Why Should the Customer Select You?

    What is wrong with the following list of reasons why the customer should select you in a proposal?

    • OurCompany is ISO 9001:2000 certified
    • OurCompany was founded in 19XX
    • OurCompany offers extensive experience
    • Our project manager has XX years of experience
    • OurCompany has a staff of 10 gazillion employees
    • OurCompany has grown more than 100% every year since it was founded
    • OurCompany is a small business
    • OurCompany is a large business
    • OurCompany has an excellent past performance record
    • OurCompany is committed to serving you
    • OurCompany understands your needs and environment
    • OurCompany offers the best value

    Answer: They are all qualifications. To be a reason why the customer should select you, they need to include a benefit. Furthermore, they are all about you. Shouldn't the reasons why a customer should select you be all about them? Try the following list, which tracks bullet-for-bullet with the list above, instead:

    • Because OurCompany is ISO 9001:2000 certified, you can expect us to be able to consistently and reliably deliver what we promise
    • Because OurCompany was founded in 19XX, our procedures and infrastructures are mature and will be able to quickly accommodate your needs
    • Because we have significant relevant experience, our staffing resources include relevant professionals and our management is already familiar with the issues that we will face. We will know what risks we need to mitigate the day we show up and instead of struggling to come up to speed we will be able to focus our attention on delivering added-value.
    • OurCompany's PM will draw on over XX years of experience to be able to quickly make the right trade-offs decisions to ensure a successful project
    • With over 10 gazillion employees, OurCompany has ample human resources to quickly staff the project with qualified personnel
    • Our ability to produce high levels of customer satisfaction has directly led to increased demand for OutCompany and a rate of growth that exceeds 100% annually.
    • Your project will represent a larger share of our business than it will for a larger company and we will respond with commitment and gratitude. You will have our attention and focus, and OurCompany will not be distracted by mergers and acquisitions or stock performance.
    • OurCompany will be able to start your project immediately and continue to operate without having to simultaneously grow our corporate infrastructure. Our ability to server you will not be wholly dependent on the efforts of a couple of key people who must also serve all of the companies other clients. Because of our size and excellent financial condition, OurCompany has the infrastructure to take care of your needs without having to keep one eye on our cash-flow position.
    • Our excellent performance record lends credibility to our ability to deliver as promised. We encourage you to call our customer references and ask them.
    • Our commitment to our customers has been demonstrated repeatedly on our previous projects. We encourage you to call our references.
    • OurCompany will leverage our experience with your environment to fulfill your needs.
    • OurCompany's approach represents the best value to you because we will support your goals and mission as well as the needs of this project.

    Which is more convincing? Put yourself in your customer's shoes. If you walk into a car dealer and they say --- trust us --- we sell more cars than anybody else! Is that enough? If they tell you they are a small business does that convince you to do business with them or scare you away? What about if they tell you they are the largest dealer? If a sales person introduces himself and says he is committed to you, does that make you ready to select him to do business with?

    Your reasons why the customer should select you must pass the "So What?" test. Read each bullet in the first list and ask yourself "So What?" There might be a reason why they matter, but if you haven't stated that reason --- you haven't given the customer the reason why they should select you. You must show the reader how what you are claiming is going to benefit them. If you don't take the time to show them why your qualifications matter and how they will benefit them, why should they do business with you?

    Carl Dickson
    By Carl Dickson, Founder of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

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