Yesterday, I wrote about why you should avoid discussing the technical aspects of your efficiency projects and instead consider how your prospect might be emotionally drawn to your project. While the technical specs of your project should not be the focus of any sales conversation, there is a time and a place for those details: in the technical appendix of your proposal.
Why should your proposal have a technical appendix? Because it provides all of the information that an engineer might be interested in vetting without cluttering the core message that the real decision-maker will read. If you muddle the first page of your proposal with anything that a CEO, CFO or similar senior manager would not understand, you’ll instantly lose their attention and they’ll end up skimming through your otherwise well-crafted message.
I also recommend centering the title "Technical Appendix" on a colored sheet of paper at the beginning of that more detailed section of the proposal. Why? Because colored paper suggests, “This is a different chapter.” CEOs don’t read technical appendices – they delegate those. The change of color scheme will quickly indicate to the CEO that he doesn’t need to trouble his eyes with the information that follows that colored page. I’ve often quipped that a colored piece of paper with the words “Technical Appendix” boldly emblazoned on it effectively serves as the “invisible pet fence” for a senior executive. As soon as they encounter that page, they turn right around and revisit the one-page narrative or one-page financial proposal, both of which are designed to capture and retain senior management’s interest.