How Do You Increase Your Success?

How Do You Increase Your Success?

Chris Sant ISS Workshop
Uncovering valuable differentiators with a Scandinavian client that was pretty sure it didn’t have any

The vast majority of clients can realistically win 35% more deals pretty much instantly. How can I possibly know that? How can I possibly say that? And, most importantly, how?

Let’s answer the last question first. How do you do it?

Two ways. First, by improving the quality, structure and focus of your proposals. We’ve developed proprietary techniques – like the ABC, 5-10-15-20, Evidence IQ, Persuasion Equation, Deal Winner Wizard, and Success Matrix tools – that allow you to easily and instantly pinpoint your true audience, clarify your message, demonstrate your commitment and competence, and make the prospect feel completely comfortable with your solution. These are the skills and techniques we teach.

Second, by ensuring you can finally sell on value, instead of constantly resorting to selling on price. It’s simple. If you offer value propositions that make it easy for prospects to see the enormous benefit of choosing you, why wouldn’t they? Pique? Gluttony for punishment? Unless the prospect is crazy (and not nearly as many are actually crazy as proposal managers might grumble about), they’ll choose you. How to do this is also what we teach and among the most popular services we offer.

Isn’t proposal writing just common sense? No way. The average proposal is a self-centered, jargon-filled information dump. This is wrong in just about every possible way. But until you’ve had the structure of persuasion shown and explained to you, it’s not intuitive to do it a better way. And there are many more examples. My services are backed up by evidence-based techniques for knowing what to say, and when and how to say it. This is based on my own proprietary research. These techniques exist nowhere else. And they are proven time and time again to win you more and more deals.

Will it work for you? Yes. I don’t come in and try to teach you how to run an IT consulting company or an engineering firm. I teach you how to write proposals that are as persuasive as the law allows. It’s an entirely separate skill. I understand that your business and your clients are different. But the process buyers go through and the information they need to make a decision in your favor is not different. It’s part of the basic structure of the brain.

Can you do it yourself? Yes and no. Yes, there are certain things you can learn and should be able to apply from the best selling proposal book of all time. But the real answer is no, not really. When you were in school, did you ever feel you knew something really well… only to get a problem in the homework or on the exam and you just stared at it? The reality is that there is a huge gap between understanding something on a theoretical level and being able to apply it to actual real-world situations.

Have you ever heard of a professional sports team that didn’t have coaches? That didn’t have practices and training?

Likewise, you wouldn’t let a surgeon operate on you after having only read about the operation in a book, would you? Then why kill your best deals by operating on them without help and without hands-on training?

Bulletproof Proposal Formula talk
Speaking about the scientific reasons why some proposals win more than others at a talk for the APMP (Association of Proposal Management Professionals)

That’s why we work through actual live deals in class. It ensures that participants develop genuine insight, rather than just passively absorbing information (or, more likely, playing Angry Birds instead).

On a more practical level, this goes back to the fact that persuasive writing is not a matter of writing about yourself better and using nicer colors and graphics. Clients who have tried to fix bad proposals on their own tend to be able to make their proposals look nicer. But they can’t quite wrap their heads around the deeper, non-intuitive problems in their proposals’ quality, structure and focus.

This is a real skill and it’s OK to not be able to do it as persuasively as possible yet. Most people were thrown into proposal writing. You got very little training and guidance. You were set up to fail, so you should be extremely pleased that you do as well as you do. It’s a testament to the many extremely intelligent people I get to work with that they manage to be so successful with so many obstacles thrown in their way.

Is it worth the time and money? That’s up to you, but it sure seems like it.

Sometimes, after I do a proposal analysis for someone, they decide to try to improve things themselves with a book and some internal training. In my experience, they tend to spend at least six months on this. What do they get at the end of that? Usually, between a 0% and 5% improvement in win rate. It’s usually closer to 0%, because one of the things hiring a trainer does is provide momentum for change. Plus, you don’t need someone to fully digest the information and then create from scratch a way to train it internally — all the while still performing their normal job. But let’s say it’s a 5% improvement in win rate. This means that, with $10 million in yearly bids, they maybe made an extra $62,500 in that six months. Not bad for a $15 book, huh?

Except what have they missed out on? If they had just gotten the training from the start, they’d be looking at an extra $437,500 in that six month period. In other words, if your proposals are sitting right at average right now, then training pays off roughly an extra $875,000 per year for every $10 million. That’s $750,000 more revenue than the best case scenario of doing it yourself.

Some people worry they don’t have the time or money. But you hand them a check for $875,000 and see how quickly they find the time and money to go cash it.

Finally, you want proof that it works? I know I would. So here you are: these best practices raised the win rates of over 180 Fortune 500 corporations by an average of 39%.

One particular Fortune 500 company in the building service and technology industry started with a 20% win rate. After applying these approaches, they walked away with 11 of the next 12 multi-million dollar contracts. Among the 92% of deals they won were servicing an entire national park system and servicing a 1,300-acre major tourist site in Florida. (And, yes, they were bidding on the same types of deals as they had been before.)


Specific Services that Increase Success

There are three major ways to turbocharge your wins by around 35% – with training, content writing or both.

We customize all services to address exactly the issues you’re dealing with, but the following services give you a general idea of the areas in which we have expertise:

Training: Create a culture of sales with interesting, lasting, tailored training on these proven methods. Workshop participants walk out at the end of the day with ready-to-use content and a thorough understanding of how to apply these methods to any proposal or presentation they get in the future.

Skill development workshops:

Proposal Academy 1: Templates, Tips and Tricks for 254% More Persuasive Proposals – proposal writing fundamentals and best practices to get you on your way to 35% more wins and 35% more revenue in 35% less time

Proposal Academy 2: Truly Advanced Skills in Written Salesmanship – roll up your sleeves and prepare to get dirty, because our advanced proposal writing workshop digs deep to unearth the secrets of showing eye-popping value, maximizing your committee scores, and making your messages take up permanent residence in your buyer’s brain


Presentation Power: Techniques from a Trial Lawyer for Fearless Face-to-Face Selling – when people are nervous, they unconsciously resort to bad habits that kill deals; this course will give your team the inner and outer confidence they need to become a trusted, successful advisor to clients

Bolder Ideas, Bigger Deals, Better Negotiations: Value Creation for Proposal Managers – your team needs to win, but you need to guide them to win bigger and better deals, and you need to have the vision to move deals from ho-hum transactional deals to legitimately transformative partnerships… and now you’ll know how


Resources and tools to let your people win:

The Differentiator Designer Full-Day Workshop – provides you with empirically-backed differentiators that maximize the credibility and persuasiveness of your value propositions and that, according to Accenture research, give you twice the profit margin as your undifferentiated “me-too” competitors

Success Matrix Probability DistributionThe Value Quantification Super Class – our exclusive, science-backed ERGO technique for creating your own value quantifying panel that delivers customized, correct estimates on demand


• We are also offering one special program for a limited time, the Value Prop Quick Start Program:

— 1 day on-site training and workshop with key personnel, guaranteeing you at least 5 quantified, evidence-backed, differentiated value props to start using immediately in your proposals and marketing materials

Content Writing: Instantly start winning with a personalized library of empirically tested, reusable content and proven template. Assemble the content like Legos to create complete powerfully persuasive proposals in 35% less time.

Both: Make your win rate explode with both training and a content library. The best value by far.

All services come with an iron-clad 1,000% ROI Money Back Guarantee: Implement these techniques and you are going to generate at least ten times the cost of your proposal improvement investment in fresh wins within 18 months or your money back. Guaranteed.

How would you go about hiring us if you decided to?