Persuading the prospect. That is the essence of Proposal Marketing.

Providing facts and information to the customer about your product or service might seem like a logical approach to persuade the customer. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Information alone does not compel a customer in their decision-making. It often essentially tells what they already know, because information is fact-focused. Therefore, it lacks a trigger to make them choose you. It’s not about information; it’s about persuasion. Convincing them to take action and to choose your proposal.

The power of persuasion is the very core of Winning Proposal. It consists of four elements:

You might recognize the NOSE approach by Dr. Tom Sant of Hyde Park Partners in these elements. NOSE stands for Needs, Outcomes, Solutions, Evidence.


NOSE is a method for structuring your proposal systematically. In this blog, we will elaborate on this, as it forms the core of Winning Proposal. In addition to the NOSE model, Winning Proposal also incorporates the persuasion principles of Robert Cialdini, a former psychology and marketing professor and author of the book ‘The Psychology of Persuasion’. Cialdini provides valuable insights that Winning Proposal integrates into its structure and content.


What are the needs of the customer? What are their wishes, or what problem do they have that needs to be solved? It makes sense to focus on this in the sales phase, because if you best fulfil the customer’s needs, you secure the order. However, many sales conversations focus on telling the story of the customers product, their service, or the company Detailed with all its features, details and benefits. But is this what your customer is interested in? Wouldn’t it be more affective to just listen – truly listen – in the sales process to what the customer has to say? And hear what they truly want? Yes, a new car, but what kind of car? What does the customer value? What trips do they want to make? If you know this, you can adjust and personalize your offer accordingly. Customers appreciate it when their concerns are recognized. When one of our clients submitted a Winning Proposal for the first time, they got a call within an hour. They sealed the deal, mostly because the customer appreciated that they recognized their own needs in the proposal. Something competitors completely overlooked.


Customers have a diverse set of desires. It’s your job to identify the most important ones and use them in your sales conversations. Wishes that yield the most significant results, are most important. Significant results can take various forms. Think about a daily annoyance. A major result could be eliminating a daily annoyance the customer once to get rid of. But it could also represent a financial benefit, such as a saving that you can offer, resulting in a reduction of costs by X in the process. In the end, the customer will choose the proposal that delivers the most value to them and their company. Therefore, focus on those desires and outcomes. Because fulfilling a small wish that yields less result will also prove to be of less value in the decision making process of the customer.


The solution you offer to the customer is, of course, crucial. ften, this solution is detached from the rest of the proposal because the description of the product or service is pulled from an existing database. This is a missed opportunity. Clearly explain how your proposal fulfils the customer’s needs and how it will achieve the promised results. That way the customer can’t ignore that this is the solution they’ve been looking for. While a product description always comes from an existing database, try to make a difference by making connections and recommendations. Specifically detail how your solution meets the customer’s needs. It’s fine if you provide a general description of the product or service afterwards. There may be people in the Decision Making Unit who find that information important and helpful.


Customers want proof that you can deliver what you claim. Of course, it’s logical that the customer wants to know that. Even though you are confident in your abilities, keep in mind that the customer doesn’t know you well enough yet. They seek evidence that you can indeed fulfil your promises. You can provide them with this in various ways. The expertise of your team or the customer cases from other clients the customer could identify with are good examples. Because they are companies from the same sector or because they are similar cases. The proof they want could also lie in your company – do you have sufficient scale to handle the job? Do you possess certificates or endorsements that are relevant? Keep in mind that you need to deliver proof to the customer that aligns with their questions, so they can have faith in you and your business.

To create a Winning Proposal, you must answer the following questions:

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