Proposal & RFP Writing Tips
I see it all the time. And perhaps you do too. Letters
and proposals that bury the price at the very end of the document. By explaining all the
benefits in the first few pages and then leaving the price for last, people believe that
buyers will be pleasantly surprised when they see how much it will cost.
In actual fact, it doesn't work that way.
Think about it. What do you do as a buyer?
I know I flick through the document until I find the
price. Then, if it's more than I want to pay, I put the document away, never to be seen
again. I don't bother going back and reading from the beginning.
Instead, what well written proposals do is tell the person up-front, how much something
will cost. That way the reader doesn't need to go digging.
They see how much it is, have an instant reaction to the amount and THEN ... if it's more
expensive than they thought, they'll keep reading through the document to look for ways to
justify the price in their own mind.
Why is it more expensive?
What special results does it achieve?
What claims do they have to back up the price?
I've tested it many dozens of times in our own campaigns and proposals, and with clients.
Every single time we test it, putting the price up front wins "hands down".
Here are two more tips on price ...
1. Never say "price" or
"cost" in your document. Instead, use the word "investment".
It may sound like a little thing but it has a major
psychological effect on your reader.
The word "cost" makes the reader feel like it is an expense they need to shell
out for. Conversely, the word "investment" makes them feel like it is an
investment that will give them a considerable pay back.
2. Never say "Your investment in the xyz
widget is $1235". Instead say, "Your investment in the xyz widget is $1235 which
includes 14 refills (valued at $xxx), a lifetime replacement guarantee, free lifetime
technical support etc. etc."
See what we've done here. By ending a sentence with the
price, you give them time to pause and reflect on the monetary amount.
Instead, by mentioning the price, then in the same breath giving a brief snapshot of what
it includes, your reader instantly makes an association between the price and the return
they will have on their investment.
In other words, the buyer makes a purchasing decision based on value for money and NOT on
the actual cost.
Makes sense, doesn't it!
Kris Mills of Words that Sell