Sales Proposals & Business Development

Your phone rings. That huge deal, that strategic partner — they’re ready to talk.

Some deals are special.

You’re a corporate wellness provider. You’ve been talking forever with a very large employer who uses different wellness providers in each region. They keep talking about consolidating most of their wellness programs with just a couple of vendors. It would be huge for your company, if it happened. But…so far…nada.

Until your phone rings. They’ve got a new executive VP who’s determined that this year they’re actually gonna do it. The CFO and CEO are on board and she wants you in their offices next week to talk details.

Or you’ve got a really creative healthy lifestyles program. It’s gotten fantastic reviews from both consumers and health professionals. Sales are growing, but you know you could grow it even faster if you could strike up a major strategic alliance with a big health system.

An email pops up. Someone you met a few months ago knows a key exec at a company that would be your  ideal partner. She told him, he emailed you, and now he wants to meet.

Good news/bad news.

The good news: your big opportunity just got a lot closer. The bad news: you’ve never had conversations that were this important before.

Everything’s got to be right, everything’s got to be big-time and you’ve got to cover all the bases — to put yourself in a position to make this happen, and to protect your company while you do it.

Ask yourself these questions

  • Which cards should you lay on the table, and which ones should stay close to your chest for now?
  • How can you avoid “deal fever” and stay objective, so you can decide if they’re truly a good strategic partner?
  • How should you structure the business relationship so it’s a win-win?
  • How are they likely to challenge you or push back on your ideas? How should you respond?
  • What’s likely to concern them, and slow the process down?
  • What concerns do you have and how can you constructively resolve them?
  • Which events will tell you that the time is right for a written proposal?
  • And if they’re bigger than you are, how can you protect your business? (Especially important if the opportunity would require a heavy upfront investment of time or money)

Level the playing field.

When we get a call about how to capitalize on a strategic opportunity, we jump in fast. These deals are nearly always time-sensitive and high-stakes, so dithering because you’re not quite sure about what to do is really not an option.

We brainstorm with you to develop the most compelling proposal for the opportunity at hand, based on your company’s short-term and long-term goals.

If you’re at the point where a written package makes sense, we either write it from scratch or turn your latest draft into a heavy-duty, compelling proposal. If we spot any missing materials that would help strengthen your position, we develop those in a hurry, too.

Role-play and rehearsal are super-important. Nothing beats knowing you’ve already thought everything through. We anticipate the likeliest areas of disagreement, pushback or concern. Then we brainstorm and coach on how best to respond. We also coach you on how to bring up the issues that concern you.

It’s really tough if you’re the only person on your side of the table — and your potential client or strategic partner has half a dozen people on their side of the table!  First, it can make your business look alarmingly small; second, it means you’ve got to do all the thinking and talking and remembering.

So if you want us to join some of the key calls or meetings, just introduce us as “a member of your team” so we can tactfully ask questions or mention points that might otherwise get overlooked (or deliberately avoided) in the discussion.

Afterwards, we debrief with you on our observations and insights — and anticipate how we think things will unfold, so you can get ready for next steps.

You’ll jump on the next call, walk into the next meeting, knowing that your pitch, your materials, and most of all, your ideas and presentation are rock-solid.