How to Empathize, Inform, and Persuade in Sales Proposals



Are you talking to or at your prospective customers in your sales proposals?

There’s a difference. As we discussed in “How to Write Customer-Driven Sales Proposals,” you can either write proposals for your customers or for yourself.

Here’s how to ensure your sales proposals properly empathize with, inform, and persuade prospects to turn into customers.


Customers can get anxious when it comes to purchase decisions because they don’t want to make mistakes. Therefore, it’s up to you to make your prospects feel confident that choosing your organization is the right decision. You want them to come to the conclusion that ultimately, they’ll be better off with you than with anyone else.

How can you go about this? People often feel comfortable dealing with companies and people like themselves—people who are trustworthy and understand them. Because of this natural gravitation towards likeminded people, it’s important that you make prospects feel confident that you share the same values and have trustworthy people on your team.

Though proposals are just paper (or an electronic document), if you write well, you can gain prospects’ trust by positioning yourself in this manner.


Get the most important information out right off the bat. Not only does this make it easier on the reader, it also forces you to keep providing value and stay on message.

To keep your sales proposal focused on the facts (the things that are most important to your prospect), write clearly by using simple language and avoiding buzzwords and/or technical jargon.

Remind the client of the end goal. Make an argument come to life with facts and statistics about expected results based on past projects. This will show that you’re familiar with the task at hand and that you’ve been down this road before.

Additionally, make sure you:

  • Talk about your prospect’s business and industry and identify the key issues that affect him/her and his/her business.
  • Anticipate common questions and answer them.
  • Articulate your value proposition: explain what makes you different and why you and your organization add value that no other company can duplicate.


Once you’ve empathized with and informed your prospective customer, it’s time to persuade him or her.

The first step in persuading your prospect is to differentiate yourself from the competition. After all, if you can’t successfully differentiate your organization and the solutions you offer, you’re selling as much for the competition as you are for yourself.

Start by selecting one or more key differentiators that set you apart and have sections of your proposal highlight these key differences. Create the best argument that will win the prospect over by showing that you know how to solve his or her need or problem better than anyone else.

Last but not least, write persuasively and convincingly. Don’t mince words. Make everything in the proposal be on message and leave out extraneous information.


While sales proposals are meant to sell, they can be used like a Swiss Army knife: a multi-purpose tool that can solve multiple problems at once.

When you start writing your proposals to not only sell your solution, but also to empathize with, inform, and persuade prospects, you’ll soon realize that those prospective customers are more responsive and engaged in the sales process.