Executives don’t want to be described. They want to be briefed, that is what your executive summary needs to do. While typical terminology is “ executive summary , ” approaching it as an professional briefing will put you in the proper persuasive way of thinking.
It all tracks back to Dr . Tom Sant . Understand him? If you prepare proposals or briefings to make your own sales living, then Dr . Sant’s subject matter expertise must be in your toolbox.
He’s written a few books, one of which is Persuasive Company Proposals. I highly recommend this, and not just because I used to use Dr . Sant at one of the companies he founded. Its value is in how he ties proposal writing to the psychology of how humans make decisions. It’s a learn class in how to use persuasive language in sales whenever building proposals and their executive summaries.
For the sake of this article—and to help keep us focused on the executive summary—I want to focus on certainly one of Dr . Sant’s most helpful guidelines, which goes by the particular acronym NOSE.
- Needs: Spell out your understanding from the prospect’s problems.
- Outcomes: Confirm the results they foresee when their problems are usually solved.
- Solution: Recommend how you can solve the problem.
- Evidence: Illustrate how you have solved similar problems in the past plus who else trusts you to solve such problems.
According to Dr . Sant, by organizing your own executive summary to straighten up with NOSE, you’ll address three questions that executives want answered while being briefed:
- Are we getting what we need?
- Could it be really worth the investment associated with resources and time?
- Can they really provide?
A lot of salespeople make the mistake of focusing more on “summary” than “executive. ” Summaries tend to not really provide answers. They’re more like glorified tables of material for the larger proposal.
Create the professional summary with the understanding that it’s likely the only part of the proposal that executive-level decision-makers will review. You have to elicit the desired response from a suggestion without including everything that switches into a proposal. No doubt it is a top-flight challenge in persuasion, but it’s the particular hurdle your executive summary has to leap.
Executives want to see that you understand their needs and desired outcomes, their pains and wants. Seeing this degree of understanding articulated in the professional summary helps relieve any anxiety they may have as check writers. Many professionals just want the briefing to overcome their fear of making the wrong decision or even selecting the wrong vendor, which can be a career-damaging move.
5 more tricks for writing an executive summary that packs a punch
There are lots of tips written in-line within the template. It’s a template with instructions, like among those fresh dinner boxes you could have delivered that has all the groceries and the recipe you need to create a meal, but without all the surprise prep work that will no one ever mentions (“Wait, I still have to marinate this meat and chop all these veggies? ”).
In fact , there’s a lot of tips that I didn’t possess room for these four, so I’m dropping them in here:
- Create a title using a dynamic verb: Sadly, the most popular title for an executive summary is “Proposal pertaining to Prospect Company. ” Utilize the title as an opportunity to catch the executive’s attention. “Increasing lead-generation…, ” or “Visualizing revenue forecasting…, ” or even “Streamlining cloud storage…” or even whatever it is that your solution is going to do for them.
- Use the recipient’s actual name whenever possible: It makes recipients feel important and personally taken care of when they see their title on the front page.
- Aim for the 3: 1 ratio of recipient company name compared to your company name: Make the document feel customized to them, not you.
- Show how well you understand your prospect’s needs: Sales or business development representatives should provide this information either from experience or from the formal discovery phase that must happen prior to your building the proposal with an executive summary. List only 3-5. 6 and beyond are dismissed by the brain as trivia, and are almost never read.
- Make sure your important functionalities match your prospects’s desired business outcomes: If they don’t, it is probably not a good fit.
Executive overview template: Use it or guide it, whichever works best to suit your needs
I could tell you *how* to write an professional summary until the cows come home. But , if you’re anything like me, things don’t really click until you see these best practices put into action .
That’s the reason why I pulled together a good executive summary template depending on Dr . Sant’s NOSE. Replace the in-line instructions with recommended content and you will end up with an executive summary that’s bound to impress. Or, at the very least, that’s bound to deal with executive-level strategic concerns regarding your proposal. Download the entire template right here.
Pro-Tip: When you’re prepared to write your own executive summary, make a copy of the template. Then, delete all the remarks. That way you don’t unintentionally fire off a record complete with my tips and tricks.
Create effective executive summaries consistently
Some of us around at RFPIO are prone to saying, “A proposal on its own is not more likely to win a deal, but it can certainly lose it. ” The same can be said to have an executive summary.
Remember that executives buy a option for different reasons than a production team (sales, marketing, IT, etc . ) wants to use it. Executive teams have proper goals while production teams have daily workflow improvement goals. In RFPIO’s case, while prospect executives might want to increase product sales pipelines , sales plus proposal teams just want time back for sanity .
I hope you find this template and walkthrough helpful. It’s been my encounter that very few organizations or individuals get any training on writing executive summaries. Hence, on the sales side, there can be a lot of inconsistency across the organization when it comes to executive overview approaches. With RFPIO’s ability to work from templates for executive summaries and proposals, uploading this template may help establish a consistent foundation just for executive briefing creation moving forward.
The post How to write a winning professional summary—er, briefing appeared first on RFPIO .