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Give Customers Options on Proposals
Give Customers Options on Proposals

Give your customers options without having to build multiple proposals.

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Written by Portal Pal
Updated over a week ago

You've been on a sales walkthrough and the customer says, "I'm not sure if I want to do that, just give me the option and let me see what it costs." In order to avoid having to create and send multiple proposals for projects use Optional Items to create "Good | Better | Best" options for every area on the proposal.


  • Options are created at the 'Area' level on a proposal

  • Each area can support up to 3 options (i.e. Good, Better, Best)

  • Clients can toggle between options to see price differences

  • Clients must choose an option for each area in order to accept proposal

How to add options

You can create options two ways in Portal. First, while adding an item to a proposal from the catalog, when you select the area, you can Add and Option below the Area name:

Second, on the proposal itself, in the Area menu you can "Add Area Option":

When you create an option this way, you'll be asked if you'd like to copy the current area into the new option being created.

Tip: The Area Description for each Option is unique, so you can describe the differences in the options in the Area Descriptions.



Build a complete Area with everything you need. Then, create the Option from the Area menu. Copy all items to the new Option. Once the new option is created, go to the individual line items on the new option that you'd like to replace with upgraded items, and utilize the "Replace Item" function (line item menu on the right) to replace each item you'd like to upgrade for this new option.

Optional Areas

Give your customer the option to approve or remove an entire system or area by creating a blank option with nothing in it. Use an Area Description of "Opt out of Living Room", for instance. Option 2 can be the requested system or area. The client can then choose whether or not they want that system or area as part of the proposal review and acceptance.

Why Provide Options? 

In Robert Cialdini's best selling book "Influence", he introduces us to the Contrast Principle, a powerful tool in every salesman's toolbox. The contrast principle says that when someone is presented with two objects, people see the difference between them as more different than they actually are. This can be employed to influence people's perceptions of the options, and thus the choices they make. What's great about this principle is that you can leverage this influence without the appearance of having structured the situation in your favor. 

On the surface, Portal's Optional Item features was built to help dealers who were creating multiple proposals for different options, or adding several optional items in proposals, was confusing customer and artificially inflating the overall price. After all, we all know the first thing customers do when you send a proposal is look for the total price. 

In reality, leveraging built-in Optional Items on Proposals helps you create contrasts and gives your customers a better, easier path to upgrade. Additionally, utilizing Optional Items forces your customer to choose options (buy-in!) before they can see the total price of the quote! Offering your customer options that are built into the proposal is engaging; and puts them in the perceived driver's seat. 

At Portal, we're all about helping you sell more, faster. With Optional Items, you can do just that. Optional Items is available right now to all dealers on our Pro Plan and higher. 

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