10 Steps for Creating an Effective Proposal
Write Proposals That Attract New Clients
You've prospected effectively and have a qualified client who is interested in seeing a proposal. You also developed a rapport, built trust, and identified needs your product or service can remedy. Your next step is to design an effective proposal that shows your client why doing business with you is the best decision for their company.
How to Create an Effective Proposal
To create an effective proposal that impresses new clients requires some thought and preparation. It should focus specifically on the customer and be based on the following steps:
- Learn about your client's industry and competition to determine how you can help them succeed.
- Research the client to determine any weaknesses or needs.
- Consider how your services or products can meet your client's needs.
- Explain how your company stands out from the competition and provide examples of your past work as well as references from satisfied customers.
- Create a cost/benefit information sheet that explains how the benefits of your product or service exceed the cost.
- Devise a sales plan that concisely details each step of the sales cycle and how each service or product will solve your client's need.
- Be mindful of the length, so that the proposal is not tedious to read.
- Add visuals to break up any long segments of text.
- Provide more than one option so your client feels they have a variety from which to choose and will be less likely to look to another service provider.
- Practice your proposal on others to get objective feedback and make any necessary improvements.
One of the main reasons deals that are well structured, well designed, and patiently worked through fail is that the proposal presented to the customer is weak.
The overall idea is that you design the proposal with the client in mind. In addition, each proposal you craft should be written for the person or people who will ultimately give their approval. However, they may not be the person with whom you worked during the proceeding sales cycle steps. Therefore, it is helpful to learn early in the sales cycle who will be the final decision-maker.
Effective Proposals Achieve Positive Results
A well-written proposal concisely details each step of the sales cycle and briefly explains how a specific product or service will solve an identified need. Your proposal should remind a prospective client of their pains and why they began seeking a solution initially. Your goal is to explain how you will solve their needs, increase their productivity, and save them money.
The final decision-maker should be able to read your proposal and fully understand the business challenges you are proposing to solve, how you propose to solve them, and why they should choose your company over another one.
Send a contract soon after you receive a favorable decision from the client. The client will be assured that they remain a priority and that you continue to focus on serving them. You can even create a draft contract to bring to the initial meeting in case your client accepts your proposal at its conclusion and wants to review the agreement.
Your proposal should include enough details to allow it to stand on its own. The delicate balance for which you must strive is providing enough information to allow for a decision while keeping the proposal's length short enough so as to not dissuade the client from reading the entire item. By following these steps, you can get ahead of the competition by closing more deals, making larger sales, and increasing your number of clients.