The opportunity to write a proposal for a client will usually evoke one of two emotions in you. Firstly, it’ll make you feel elated at the fact that you get an opportunity to get one step closer to signing the client you’ve already worked hard to impress. Secondly, you might feel dread at the thought of “how do I write a proposal that they can’t resist?” especially if you aren’t a wordsmith. Here’s our guide to writing a killer proposal.
A proposal is an opportunity to show the client that you’ve spent time and effort listening to his or her needs, and you’ve created a solution for them that has the ‘wow-factor’ included! Here are five easy steps to begin practicing that will make your proposals pop:
Step 1 – Leave the credentials till last
Clients don’t want to have to sift through the first 10 pages of a proposal which tells them about your company or yourself first. Leave the credentials and company information, vision, mission and praise until the end of the proposal.
Step 2 – Start with the client’s needs first
If a proposal is meant to tell a client how to solve a problem or improve their life, don’t start with the solution before you’ve confirmed the problem. Don’t make a client hunt around for a clear explanation of their needs or problems you intend meeting or solving.
Step 3 – Explain your process in getting to the solution
Clients want to see (in as precise, clear, and interesting a way possible) how you got to your solution – your methodology if you will. Explain your process, or thinking that has lead you to the solution you are proposing to them. Don’t assume they will be able to guess.
Step 4 – Be careful of cut & paste
It is common to use a proposal template these days, but make sure your personalise each proposal to each client. Never send a stock standard proposal that is not at least topped and tailed with some kind of personalised information or message. No two clients are the same, so why would their proposals be the same?
Step 5 – Check x a million
Proof read your proposal thoroughly before sending. Check for grammar as well as content errors. This is especially important if you are using a template. No one likes to be called Mr Smith when they are in fact Mrs Jones.