You have written and delivered a sales proposal to a prospective client, and you have won the contract. Congratulations!
But the odds are that you didn't put all the useful information you have into the proposal. For one thing, if you included everything you know, the client's eyes would glaze over at the number of pages. For another, a very thick proposal might appear so intimidating that the client would simply skip over it in favor of competing proposals that are easier to thumb through.
You probably have additional information that will benefit a third party, such as the ultimate recipient of your goods or services, or a third party that will be affected by a process or the end result of the project.
So why not put together an additional information packet you can distribute to these third parties and thus provide more value, gain more name recognition, and potentially land more business? You can even suggest these information packets as a bonus service within your initial sales proposal, thereby winning more points with the prospective client.
So, what should go into an information packet? The contents would vary by the types of business and the proposed projects, but the basic answer is: any details that are specific to the project or your business that you didn't include in the proposal, and any information that is important for third parties to know.
Take, for example, a company selling pest control services for commercial outlets such as office buildings and apartment complexes. The sales proposal would follow the standard order and include the standard contents, which would typically be a Cover Letter, Title Page, Executive Summary, Goals and Objectives, Services Provided, Services Cost Summary, Options, Assessment, Recommendations, Company History, and References. This proposal would be sent to management companies that would contract with the pest control company.
Then the pest control company would be smart to create an information packet that the management company could provide to their tenants—the individual office or apartment residents. The information packet would explain the process the pest control workers will use, give instructions on how to prepare for the process, and provide any needed warnings. The information packet would also have the company contact info on it and would be an additional sales piece that would be left behind with each resident as well as with the property managers.
For example, in our pest control case, the information packet would use topics like the following:
- Cover Letter - A brief explanation of why recipients are receiving the packet along with company contact information.
- What You Can Expect - An explanation of the process. This will help the residents plan for the project.
- Precautions - A description of issues the residents should be careful about, such as cleaning surfaces after a treatment and keeping pets and children away from traps.
- Monitoring - Instructions about how to monitor the residence or office for new outbreaks.
- FAQ - Answers to frequently asked questions.
An additional information packet works in all sorts of situations. For example, you might want to create an information packet that describes additional services or products you offer that you didn't mention in your original proposal but that you feel the client or associates might be interested in. When a project will affect neighbors or other parties, you might want to create an information packet for those third parties—for example, a large building contractor might want to assemble information for neighbors explaining potential traffic disruptions and parking issues, noise, and so forth; a concert organizer might want to create a similar packet.
Information packets can be effectively combined with your business proposals for many types of situations and industries.
A technology company can create technical documentation for their product that can be delivered with the customer's shipment.
A healthcare provider can create an information packet about tips to help aid in recovery and treatment.
Event planners can create information packets that include more details for individual participants such as maps, directions, schedules and parking information.
Financial planners or accountants can create information packets that include tips on how to prepare for taxes and manage their investments.
You can even put your information packets in PDF format and provide them as downloadable files on your web site or put them on your laptop or iPad to show clients in the field. The possibilities for creating extra collateral material to supplement your business proposals and increase your visibility in the marketplace are endless.
What you put into a packet will depend on your business, the project, and the type of information that will be useful to the intended recipient. You already know what you want to say to these third parties; you just need to write it down. Be sure to always include your company information and contact information—you want to get the credit for supplying the helpful information as well as the name recognition you'll gain by distributing the packets. You'll be thought of as a good neighbor and a good organization to do business with, and this can all lead to more sales.
As with any promotional piece you send out, make sure to proofread your information packet and spend some time making it visually appealing. Learn how to effectively select colors for your business documents. Remember that these pages represent your organization, just like your proposal does.
You can see that creating an information packet after winning a contract can be a smart business strategy. A bonus packet can be used for many different purposes and directed to many different audiences. But there's no need to start from scratch with blank pages. You can find all the templates you might need in Proposal Pack, along with samples that will provide inspiration and help you write efficiently and creatively. Not only will a Proposal Pack create your business proposal, it can also be used to create your information packet so all of your collateral material has a consistent look and design.