Collector - October 2016 - 33

SALES ALL SHAPES AND SIZES you understand the scope of work and have expertise in the field. 4. IF POSSIBLE, MEET WITH THE PROSPECT BEFOREHAND The more you know about the prospect's needs and concerns before you write your proposal, the better your chances. For instance, how much they understand agency business will guide your level of language. Is there a scoring module for evaluating the responses? If so, what are the categories, and how will they weight each of them? Make sure your proposal addresses every category clearly and specifically. If you ignore even one element, you're out of the running. 5. GET ORGANIZED Remember, whoever is evaluating your proposal is reading lots of them. Making it easier on that person will weigh heavily in your favor. Every line should be selling subliminally, without sounding like boilerplate or like it came from some Madison Avenue ad firm. 6. LANGUAGE IS CRITICAL It must be well-written, which means it must be persuasive. If you don't write as well as a professional, you need someone who does. Make sure it functions as a sales document, not a technical document. Avoid vague, innocuous statements like: * "Experienced team." * "Low collector caseloads." * "Qualified management." * "Thorough account coverage." If you want to persuade, you have to go beyond generic terms and give details that sell. 7. BE SPECIFIC. Use actual historical events as illustrations of points you are trying to make, or examples of delivered quality. COLLECTOR 10.16 8. GET YOUR TEAM READY Once you have a feel for what the prospect needs, determine what you can uniquely provide. Assign tasks to appropriate people. Be sure everyone knows what timeframes they have to work within. Rush jobs create costly mistakes. If you don't have the time or expertise for a specific bid or proposal, you may want to get outside help-someone who will evaluate your RFP and possibly improve it before the bid is submitted. 9. APPEARANCE COUNTS Simple fonts that are easy on the eye are crucial. Graphics and basic charts can be a big plus. Your proposal must be userfriendly. It's a simple matter of consideration for the reader. This is true for both physical and electronic submissions. 10. THINK LONG-TERM No one wins every bid or proposal, but there are a lot of things a quality proposal does for you that are difficult to accomplish any other way: * It details all benefits and aspects of your agency. * It remains with a creditor long after your salesperson is gone. * It gives the salesperson's internal contact a document to sell within the creditor's organization. An excellent proposal can build bridges to a prospect that would otherwise take you years to cross. The question you should be asking yourself is: With competition as tough as it is, can I afford to jeopardize even one sale, or one bid, because we submitted a document that was less than the best? The answer, no doubt, is no. Marc Trezza is president of Search Net Corporation (www.searchnetcorp. com/agency). He can be reached at snctrezza@ mindspring.com or (518) 263-3500. How you write your proposal depends on which kind of bid you are responding to: Procurement-Only Bids: These are commonly a statement of work and a series of questions. Because the procurement department doesn't have to work with the winner, it must take the lowest fee to avoid accusations of collusion, investigations and all manner of unpleasantness. The exceptions will request the fee submission separately and will only look at the fee of the best proposals to pick the winner(s). That approach is usually a good sign for the agency that focuses on selling value, not features. User-Buyer's Department: This is usually an RFP issued by the department that the winner will actually be working with. Value matters here because this department has to live with the decision every day. Meeting prior to an RFP release gives the salesperson an opportunity to sell value and influence how clients look at the process, so they can take a more enlightened approach that will benefit everyone. Hybrid Buyers: This is where there is a balance between procurement and the end-user department- exploring that balance is wise, and can have a positive impact on the entire process. Straight-up Proposals: This is user-buyer only, when in a normal sales process, the buyer requests a proposal. This must be a specific, solutions-based document, and more than any other situation, cannot be a generic proposal if you want to increase the odds of winning. 33 http://www.searchnetcorp.com/agency http://www.searchnetcorp.com/agency

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - October 2016

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Connect the Dots
Looking Deeper
Head of the Class
Calendar
Honor Roll
The Formula of Five
How to Create Winning Bids and Proposals
A Running Start
ACPAC Election Watch
ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Aids Eleventh Circuit Win for Member Company
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - October 2016 - Cover1
Collector - October 2016 - Cover2
Collector - October 2016 - 1
Collector - October 2016 - 2
Collector - October 2016 - President’s Page
Collector - October 2016 - Industry News
Collector - October 2016 - 5
Collector - October 2016 - 6
Collector - October 2016 - 7
Collector - October 2016 - Best Practices
Collector - October 2016 - 9
Collector - October 2016 - FYI
Collector - October 2016 - 11
Collector - October 2016 - Collection Tips
Collector - October 2016 - 13
Collector - October 2016 - Connect the Dots
Collector - October 2016 - 15
Collector - October 2016 - 16
Collector - October 2016 - 17
Collector - October 2016 - 18
Collector - October 2016 - 19
Collector - October 2016 - Looking Deeper
Collector - October 2016 - 21
Collector - October 2016 - 22
Collector - October 2016 - 23
Collector - October 2016 - Head of the Class
Collector - October 2016 - 25
Collector - October 2016 - 26
Collector - October 2016 - 27
Collector - October 2016 - Calendar
Collector - October 2016 - Honor Roll
Collector - October 2016 - The Formula of Five
Collector - October 2016 - 31
Collector - October 2016 - How to Create Winning Bids and Proposals
Collector - October 2016 - 33
Collector - October 2016 - 34
Collector - October 2016 - 35
Collector - October 2016 - A Running Start
Collector - October 2016 - 37
Collector - October 2016 - 38
Collector - October 2016 - 39
Collector - October 2016 - ACPAC Election Watch
Collector - October 2016 - 41
Collector - October 2016 - ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Aids Eleventh Circuit Win for Member Company
Collector - October 2016 - 43
Collector - October 2016 - Compliance
Collector - October 2016 - 45
Collector - October 2016 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - October 2016 - 47
Collector - October 2016 - Last Word
Collector - October 2016 - Cover3
Collector - October 2016 - Cover4
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