July Spice Rack Newsletter
The Perfect Proposal
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the down-on-one-knee kind of proposal. Today I’m focusing on that perfect proposal that will win the business.
I was reading an article recently about proposals that really work. Well, I found out that I’m moving in the right direction with the recent changes I’ve made in format and style.
You may have heard that telling a story is much more effective than just stating the facts. This is the main thing I hope you take away today. Tell stories! They worked thousands of years ago and will be a winning strategy for thousands more. It’s just the way our brains process information. It’s not trickery, just the way our cortexes have evolved over millennia.
If you’d like a hand in telling your story, we can help you with our StoryStyleTM methodology. It’s all about being different in the eyes of the prospect, showing empathy, being a guide and letting them be the hero.
The second-best thing that was in the article is the advice to edit your proposal mercilessly. Unfortunately, you’ll likely spend at least double the time you would have if you didn’t. But it’s a small price to pay compared to the alternative. They touched on a few of the ones below and I added another six.
Here are my 10 suggestions to reduce your embarrassment and greatly improve your chances of winning.
- Have you possibly copied and pasted something, but didn’t take the previous prospect’s name out of the old copy?
- Has spellcheck sabotaged you? Spelling, punctuation, tenses.
- Could you have used fewer biz buzzwords (unless they are the client’s preferred vernacular)?
- Are you consistent in your descriptions of the same things throughout the document?
- Is the information optimally organized?
- Could a narrative be better shared as bullet points?
- Could the opposite be true? If you’re trying to make an emotional point, you might want to back off the stats and talk feelings.
- If you make a claim, can you provide backup proof for that claim?
- Did you include at least one testimonial from a client that went through a similar purchase from you and was ecstatic?
- Could there be a picture/graphic or two to make the piece more eye-catching?
Going forward, consider yourself more of an author than a salesperson. Bring the appropriate style and grace for the audience, but dust it with a little personality and a surprise or two. Encapsulate that in a story and see what happens. Then you can take me to lunch.
A Little Pinch
What are you measuring anyway?
Every marketing tactic and tool has purpose. If it’s measurable, make sure you gather as much info as you can. Then, be very judicious as to how you analyze the results. Did your latest post garner 100x more clicks than average? Did you realize that it was a bunch of college kids that shared it because they thought it was clever and funny—but unfortunately will never become a customer?
Don’t just measure hits to a landing page, dig deeper to understand where they were generated from, and what visitors did when they got there (i.e., clickthroughs to other pages on your site, engaging with content, abandoning the site, etc.), so you can understand how to make improvements the next time. There are some sweet marketing automation tools out there that are woefully under-utilized. I would be happy to show you how to leverage that great content into an ROI you can trust.
A Song's Origin
One of my all-time favorite musicians is Joe Walsh from the Eagles and previously with the James Gang. He’s a virtuoso on the guitar and has written some iconic tunes. Do you love when you know how the origin of a song came about? Here’s one you’ll love!
Thyme to Celebrate
National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
Did you know that the hot fudge sundae was invented in the Midwest? Various accounts originated from three towns; two in Illinois, Plainfield and Evanston, and one story tied to Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Commonalities were the timing, somewhere between 1881 and 1890, and the fact that it was probably a druggist that started it, serving them at his counter. The Plainfield druggist was named Mr. Sonntag, which is “Sunday” in German. They win the creativity award for a spin on the story.
Whichever way you scoop it, be sure that you celebrate National Hot Fudge Sundae Day on July 25. The weather will likely be perfect for a little dietary pampering. Buy the ingredients, invite your neighbors, and make a Sundae Bar. I’ll bet it becomes an annual thing—and legendary.
From 68 Bits of Pithy Knowledge
When he turned 68, Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine, compiled 68 nuggets he culled from his life. I’m continuing to share some of them with you. Should you want the full list, just let me know.
“Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. Assume they are like you: busy, occupied, distracted. Try again later. It’s amazing how often a second try works.”
“Promptness is a sign of respect.”
“Optimize your generosity. No one on their deathbed has ever regretted giving too much away.”
Subscribe to The Spice Rack or talk to Tim
“I’d like to thank you for all your help. We could not have had a successful NYSCC 2022 without you and your team!”
“Dear All – I wanted to write and say a huge thanks for helping deliver this video for us, it’s a major step forward! Roll on the next one.”
“The brochures turned out fantastic! I was so excited to see them this morning when I came back from vacation. Love them so much! Thank you and the whole Pepper Team for all your hard work and creativity!”
Bronswick Benjamin P.C. 2
“If you want creative and innovative ideas, Pepper Group is fantastic. Also, their talent marketing work is top notch. We used Pepper Group to help us with core values creation, unique signage, awards programs and much more. I can truly say that Pepper Group has been a big contributor to improving our firm’s culture.”
Hitchcock Design Group
“We appreciated the custom process and approach that Pepper Group took to helping us create our brand platform. Due to the time and effort that they spent with us, as well as our clients during that process, they already understood our culture which allowed us to transition seamlessly into having them develop our new brochure and website.”
Envista Forensics 2
“I just received my personalized “Stronger than Ever” box. Please tell management that it was such a thrill to open that I stopped and then shared it with my wife! In Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends And Influence People, he says that seeing one’s name in print (on the outside of the box) is a thrilling event. A name tag, a coffee cup and of course the ever important business cards were icing on the cake! Thanks for that cool, personalized experience. That’s what I get from Apple products!”
Thanks for a good transition in brand name. I’m excited about our future.
“Thank you so much. You offer such outstanding event staging service … I know I don’t have to worry about anything with the sound, lights and technology.”
“Thanks so much for doing this for us. You have no idea how good it feels to have a website that looks awesome, the content is legit, everything looks awesome. We really appreciate it.”
“Website looks amazing guys!!! Sent to my family and it’s already been shared across the world. Big family 😉.”
“I was so excited when I saw the video. This is just outstanding. We loved every minute of it.”
“I just wanted to pass along a thanks and nice work to the Pepper team on the DEI piece. I know we’re still finalizing some stuff on the backend, but I shared the page with the managing directors over research and they both loved it.”
“I had a meeting with our analytics team yesterday and wanted to pass along the good report. They said this was one of the best web redesign projects they had seen. Great job on all the redirects, meta tags, alt-tags, etc. Everything looked good from an SEO and analytics standpoint.
So, KUDOS TO THE TEAM!! ”
“Really appreciate your quick turnaround, great service, collaboration and partnership!!!!!”
“I love it and couldn’t be happier with the final product! The Pepper team did a fantastic job, and it was a pleasure working with you all.”
Gerber Collision & Glass
“We knew we had a great place to work, and a lot to offer new team members. Pepper Group helped us pull it all together with a cohesive message, and tools and tactics that allow us to communicate that message effectively. I’m a satisfied customer!”
Senior Business Development Manager Omron Automation
“We are getting great feedback on the event itself, and you helped us to make it such a success!!!”
“I haven’t been shy with our internal team in ‘singing the praises’ of your entire team—it’s been a pleasure to work with everyone at your company and frankly you’ve made this massive rebrand project accomplishable.”
Download Our Agency Overview