You like it or not, the proposal you sent to your client is not only going to convey the scope of the project and its details but will also put forth an image of your brand. A proposal is the first thing that your client will be engaging with, so it should be nothing less than perfect.
If you want to win over your clients, sending in a unique proposal is one of the vital steps of the process. Writing a proposal might not be easy but it’s not rocket science either. Here are a few ways through which you can make your business proposal stand out amongst others.
How to make a strong first impression on clients with a proposal?
Select the right template
A proposal is the first step that you take towards landing a client, so you must make sure that the right procedure is followed. As important as it is to follow the right procedure it is equally important to make it appealing yet professional as well. The best way to go about a template is to use the preset ones.
You must wonder why? Well, the proposal templates are carefully curated for this purpose only. In addition, they are more professional and help you in saving time. They make the writing process easier and efficient and what more does anyone need?
You can utilize preset templates for your proposals and edit them as per your needs. The best part is that you can reuse them for different proposals by making a few necessary edits.
Now, choose the perfect template for your proposal and write one of the best proposals ever with an organized arrangement of different sections and appropriate designs. Make sure that after completing your proposal you add a unique section to your template to make your proposal more personalized.
Put forth a convincing introduction
Let me be very candid, the introduction of your proposal will tell you if you will be able to land the client or not! Like psychology says that you judge a person in the first 7 seconds of meeting them, similarly, your proposal is also judged within a few seconds based on your introduction.
Most of the time a client decides on your proposal just by reading the introduction itself, thus, you need to make sure that your introduction has everything your client needs to know.
The use of simple language and avoiding ambiguity is what makes an introduction great. Always, I repeat, do in-depth research about your clients and their requirements before sending them the proposal. Utilize your research and then put forth your proposal accordingly.
Your proposal should establish a personal connection with your client. You will have to rely heavily on your research and gathered information to write a personalized proposal for your client so you must do your research thoroughly.
Let me drop a secret to you, many amazing proposals get rejected just because enough research was not done on the client before putting forth a personalized proposal. If possible, get on a business call with your client before sending the official proposal to understand their requirements first.
You are sending this proposal to a client to solve a probable issue that they are facing. Your introduction should center around that issue and how you will provide a solution to solve that. Instead of bragging about the features of your products what you must do is tell the client how the product will take away their problem.
Giving the right set of solutions and the purpose of your product or service is what will help you in fetching the client’s attention.
Your introduction should include the following points:
- Address the problem of the client.
- Clearly state the purpose of your proposal, and give a crux of what your proposal is all about.
- Write your introduction with empathy explaining to the client that you understand their problem.
- Give a solid reason why the client should choose you, give logical arguments to explain how it will cater to your client’s requirements.
- Most importantly, be as real as you can throughout your proposal beginning from the introduction.
Many proposals get rejected by the clients as they promise unrealistic goals without any solid evidence. The client you are approaching with the proposal has enough knowledge that they can figure out if what you are promising is possible or not, so being impractical just to flatter them is not an option. You have to be convincing and practical to win every proposal you send.
A good proposal will make the difference between getting started and starting over, so it is crucial to learn how to write a strong one that makes your vision stand out from all other requests.
Give a detailed account of the cost
Finances are one of the most important aspects of a proposal, obviously because it’s your client who has to invest. Most of the time the clients jump from introduction to the costs skipping everything in between. You must clearly state a well-calculated amount with a detailed account of every expenditure that would be incurred. Other than this, do not forget to mention service charges or extravagant costs if any. This way the client will also be able to see if it fits their budget and you will also not have to worry about any problems related to the same later. Be transparent.
Keep it short, positive, and engaging
Talking very bluntly but nobody wants to know the trivial details about your product/service. They want to know how it will solve their problems and nothing more than that unless they sign a deal with you. So just like that, keep it short, crisp, and engaging.
Mention only the details that your client needs to know. Brevity is something that you have to put to use throughout the procedure of writing your proposal. If you have the impression that the longer the proposal the more it will flatter your client, then you’re on the wrong track. It’s the opposite.
If your proposal’s reading time is more than 7-8 minutes then the client would not consider your proposal to be worthy enough. Your proposal should contain details like how you would resolve the issue, in how much time, and what would be the capital involved. These basic details are what the client looks for initially and being able to find them in one go will make a strong first impression.
You must already be aware that most of the business proposals are tedious because they have a lot of technical details about the project. But to make your proposal stand out you have to get rid of this gloominess by using positive words. You must try to use those words that describe your brand’s identity.
For example, words like ‘exclusive’ and ‘innovative’, and ‘creative’ are intriguing words that would instantly catch the reader’s eyes. Just keep in mind that while using positive and engaging words you do not drift away from the authenticity and the true identity of your brand.
Give timelines and dates of completion
If you are wondering why you are getting rejected even after writing a proposal keeping all the detailed guidelines in mind, then let me tell you what you are missing out on. It is probably because you are omitting time scales from your proposals. Not having a time frame in your proposals leaves an impression that you’re not confident about your offer as you are unable to give a chronological order for its completion.
Having time frames about the offer you are posing showcases a sense of guarantee and reliability. It further impresses the client if you have given a detailed timeline of all the activities that you would be taking up for this project.
While doing your research if you have found out that an important event is in the way for your client then use that opportunity and add it to your proposal. Let them know how you can take care of the upcoming event within a certain timeline. Clients appreciate it when you go an extra mile for them.
Reach out for the next steps
Whenever you are out shopping, you are very clear about the steps you have to follow, like picking up clothes, trying them on, and later going to the billing counter. Similarly, your proposal also needs to have a section for your next steps.
There is a possibility that your client is done reading your proposal and after that, they are clueless about what to do and later they forget about it. If you don’t want your client to sleep over your proposal make sure that you have the next steps included at the end of the proposal.
These next steps can be the following:
- A website address where they can sign up.
- An option to pay in advance in case they are very impressed with your proposal.
- An official as well as an unofficial number for a ‘kick-off’ call.
Mention about terms and conditions
If you are not adding your terms and conditions clearly to your proposal, then it means you are gaslighting the client. This gives an impression that you are a brand that is focused on just making money and does not care about your clients. It must be known to you that brand reputation is everything that matters in the market.
Trying to gaslight a client by being ambiguous about your terms and conditions and later thug them by bringing in new clauses is not a good practice. Moreover, every client that you’ll try to fool will make sure that you do not do the same to anyone else. Eventually, your image will be ruined in the market resulting in your downfall.
But on the other hand, clearly mentioning your brand’s terms and conditions will prevent plenty of features later. Your client would be clear about what they can expect from you and where they need to compromise. Mentioning terms and conditions will make the deal crystal clear from both ends and will prevent any issues between the two parties later.
Best part? Clarity is what a client seeks, if you will be transparent from the beginning itself that will leave a strong impression on the client.
Now get started and draft the best proposal with Prospero and land any client you want!
About the Author
Srishti Panwar is a content developer at MyOperator who is an avid reader and a book fanatic. She is always experimenting with her ways of writing and always looking out for new perspectives. She’s also a fitness enthusiast. If you do not find her with her books then she is probably working on a new detox drink.