Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 25, 2019

Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

One of the biggest frustrations I hear from my clients is the amount of time and effort it takes for them to put together proposals, particularly those that don’t end up winning the business. Unfortunately, the standard approach to making client proposals usually involves describing your products or services, including some corporate background, adding a few references, and finishing with pricing information.

This is the last approach you want to take. It practically guarantees you’ll miss the mark. And worse, preparing and delivering these kinds of proposals soaks up significant time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Here then, are a few tips I share in my seminars on how to deliver proposals that actually boost your business.

1. It’s not about you

It’s about them: your clients. If you start a presentation by talking about your products and services, you’ve already lost them. A purchase doesn’t begin by trying to convince someone to buy something. A purchase begins when a customer perceives a need. That means your first job is to help clarify customer needs. So before making any kind of a proposal, you need to ask several questions.

Begin by admitting that you’re not sure whether or not your products/ services are the right fit for this customer, which is why you’d like to ask a few questions with their permission. That disarms them because you appear to be willing to encourage them to buy elsewhere. It also warns them that this is going to take some time. If they’re not willing to answer a few questions, then this is not a serious potential customer. Wish them well and move on.


Assuming they are willing to spend the time, then ask them what they’ve liked about what other suppliers of this type of product/service have done for them in the past. Then ask what the client has disliked about previous purchases. Next, ask what the perfect solution might look like and why they haven’t found it yet. With those four questions you’ve identified you client’s likes, dislikes and buying objections.

That’s a good place to end. Let the client know that you’ll consider what they’ve shared and you’ll come up with some options. Set up a time/place for the next meeting.

2. Homework wins business

Now do your homework. Read their annual report, especially the president’s remarks about priorities and plans. Do a web search to see what others are posting about them, especially what their customers are saying. If you know other industry insiders, ask about the company’s reputation on the street. What you’re trying to discover is how your products or services will either a) help them achieve their organization’s larger goals or b) reduce some of the headaches or problems they may be facing.

3. They can handle the truth

Start your presentation/ proposal with a sincere compliment about something good that you discovered about them. Be specific. It shows you know your stuff and you’re generous. You might also point out an area for improvement (in your own area of your expertise) that you identified. By offering feedback, you’re positioning yourself as being a resource — a trusted advisor — who sees their big picture and where they might be falling short.

4. Link solutions to problems

Next, describe your products and services in the context of addressing the client’s needs. Reference what they told you and what you also discovered. Make sure you translate any features of your offering into benefits for the customers. Use phrases like, “What this means to you is…”

5. Help them see your difference

Perhaps the most important element of your proposal is describing what makes your approach different from others in your industry. Without running down the competition, explain how typical approaches to solving these types of problems are often fine. Then point out why, in this particular situation, typical approaches won’t likely get the results the client is looking for. That’s why you’re suggesting this different approach.

6. Make it easy

As supplemental material (preferably in an appendix), include your credentials, references, or other evidence that you have a track record of delivering solid results.

In your pricing, provide up to three options (maximum) for ways they might work with you. This shifts the decision from yes or no, to a choice of yeses. 

Bottom line: you’ll win more business by focusing your proposals less on  your  products and services and more on  your clients’  needs. Good luck!

This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease by Hall of Fame motivational speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com. Watch for more articles from Jeff in future issues.

 

Flir Application SpotlightWithout power, factory operations cannot continue. That’s why regular scheduled maintenance is important to ensure your electrical distribution system is in working order. A combination of a thermal imager and a clamp meter can help you detect hot spots and diagnose electrical issues at the point of failure before an outage occurs, quickly and safely.  Download the Application Spotlight today.

 

 

 

 

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3M Canada WebinarRegister for 3M Canada’s upcoming webinar: How TTS™ Heat Trace Cables can help you on site.

3M Canada will be hosting a heat trace cables webinar, where you’ll learn about heat trace, heat trace applications (i.e.: pipe freeze protection, roof and gutter, and surface snow and ice melting), and the benefits of self-regulating heat trace cables—TTS™ Heat Trace Cables.

 

 

 

 

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Stephanie MedeirosBy Blake Marchand

Stephanie Medeiros leads ABB Canada’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure team, as well as transit bus charging in the United States and Canada. She has been with ABB in various positions for 10 years, compiling a diverse skillset that includes work all over the world. 

After receiving a degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, Medeiros got her start in the industry by volunteering with the Canadian government as an electrical engineering intern, where she travelled to Peru to help improve their water treatment infrastructure. 

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Wholesale SalesWholesale sales rose 0.6% to $64.1 billion in June, partly offsetting the 1.9% decline in May. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, representing 54% of total wholesale sales.

In dollar terms, two subsectors — miscellaneous, and machinery, equipment and supplies — contributed the most to the increase in June, while the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector posted the largest decline.

 

 

 

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Select manufacturer executives had precisely five minutes to present a key product with superior growth potential to the members of IMARK Canada. Distributor member executives then rated each supplier based on the quality of the presentation and the perceived sales potential of the product being demonstrated.

 

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Endress+HauserEndress+Hauser has broken ground for its new $28 million Customer Experience Centre for Central and Eastern Canada. When construction of the approximately 47,000 sq ft facility in Burlington is completed late next year, it will provide customers from Manitoba to Atlantic Canada with a generously equipped, state-of-the-art training and support hub for selecting and familiarizing themselves with the company’s latest innovations for process automation.

Last week’s official groundbreaking included a traditional Land Acknowledgment Ceremony performed by Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations.

 

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Peers & Profiles

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Lori BagazzoliBy Blake Marchand

Lori Bagazzoli, Regional Sales Manager for Viscor, is a 20-year industry veteran that has built an interesting career from the bottom up. Beginning as a 19-year old just out of college in customer service with EXM, she gained an intimate knowledge of the electrical and lighting supply business by working her way through various organizational levels.

“I was definitely able to learn the different roles, and understand all the different aspects of the business,” she said, “starting so young, I really had to put in my time to be able to move up.”

 

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Looking Back

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