Book Reviews


Sales Proposals for Dummies with CD-Rom

Author: Bob F. Kantin
Publisher Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication Date: July 2001

Reviewer:Andy Marken
In his nearly 25 years in the advertising/public relations field, Andy has been involved with a broad range of corporate and marketing activities. Prior to forming Marken Communications in mid-1977, Andy was vice president of Bozell & Jacobs and its predecessor agencies. During his 12 years with these agencies, he developed and coordinated a wide variety of highly visible and successful promotional campaigns and activities for clients. A graduate of Iowa State University, Andy received his Bachelor's Degree with majors in Radio & Television and Journalism. Widely published in the industry and trade press, he is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

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Do you wonder why your program recommendations (and budget) always gets shot down or pared down?

Wonder why your director of marketing didn't buy off on your product launch proposal?

Wonder why you didn't get that new client you "knew" your agency was just right for?

That's right you write sales proposals all the time. And unless you're winning your unfair share you might (will probably) find this new addition to the Dummies series of real assistance.

We all sell in one way or another and just because public relations professionals are first and foremost communicators doesn't mean you can automatically produce a winning sales proposal.

Like the hundreds of other Dummies books, Sales Proposals Kit isn't filled with theory or philosophy. It's a no-nonsense, easy to read book that will help you put together a proposal that is informative, persuasive and easy to read.

We wish we had read this book years ago because it would have helped us avoid the disappointment of losing. You know when you've met with a CEO or head of marketing; discussed the company, products and requirements; just "knew" everything was right and then found your proposal was rejected. Somehow they simply didn't get the message. We've all racked our brains trying to determine what we should have done/said or what we did/said that was wrong. Dummies isn't guaranteed to help you avoid those times in your life but as you read, understand and practice what Kantin is telling you, you'll win a lot more times than you lose.

You'll find Mr. Kantin's proposal Rater very useful in helping you pinpoint the areas you need to focus on in preparing your proposals for management, clients or prospective clients. If you're sick and tired of struggling to develop what you believe is an excellent proposal only to suffer the ego-crush of rejection you'll find the book to be a breath of fresh air.

The paperback book is filled with a lot of sales examples and it is up to you the public relations professional to translate the examples into your situation, your environment and your activity. In our estimation that shouldn't be very difficult for most public relations pros. The book provides a proven structure and guidelines for writing winning proposals for almost any business situation.

You'll not only find a number of proposal examples you can modify or use as guidelines for your presentations but you'll also get a set of tools so you can evaluation the proposal from the recipient's point of view.

Mr. Kantin's book is not only fun and informative to read but you also get a very useful CD with your copy that guides you through the entire proposal writing process.

The book is one of the most commonsense approaches to writing proposals you'll ever find because it strips away theory and history and helps you focus on your goal - winning management's approval.

Whether you only write program proposals for your management or you write proposals for new business you'll find this Dummies book to be a valuable reference guide to help you succeed.