TOP 3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SENDING A BUSINESS PROPOSAL TO A CLIENT
Business owners, sales and marketing representatives know how important a business proposal is in securing a deal with a client. You can have many conversations leading up to a proposal, but the proposal itself is a key entry point into gaining your client’s trust—and, potentially, future business.
There are several items that must be included in a business proposal (such as a description of services, estimated time frame and cost), but often the most important parts of a proposal are overlooked because it’s viewed as a sales piece rather than a relationship and confidence-building piece.
Here’s our TOP 3 Three Things to Consider Before Sending a Business Proposal that will help your proposal rise to the top:
1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
A well-researched business proposal requires a lot of work before the client accepts the proposal. Don’t be afraid of putting in a little extra elbow grease up-front, because a majority of your return will come with repeat business once you gain a client’s trust.
In addition to researching the client’s external communications (website, social media, publications, etc.), mission and vision statements, do as much internal investigation as possible.
– Who are the key decision makers in the organization and how are decisions made?
– What are their target audiences, and how are they currently reaching those audiences?
– What does your client consider as needs, or gaps in their current outreach?
– What are some current barriers to reaching their goal, for example, is it lack of knowledge, resources or staff?
– In what time frame do they hope to achieve their goals?
Your research will help make a business proposal actionable. A proposal that is tailored for your client, rather than a generic proposal that doesn’t consider the client’s unique needs. The client will appreciate the time you spend understanding their company, and your business proposal is more likely to generate favourable results for both parties involved.
2. SHOW THE POTENTIAL RETURN-ON-INVESTMENT OF YOUR BUSINESS
Whenever possible, try to illustrate the monetary or tactical return-on-investment (ROI) for your client. This can sometimes be a difficult task, considering the proposal doesn’t dictate actual results. One way to do this is to include examples of similar work your company has completed, and how your work helped to increase sales (e.g. driving consumers to a website to complete purchases).
Another way is to include testimonials from previous clients that prove how your work has benefited their organization. Be detailed in how your work will meet their needs, such as building partnerships, increasing online presence or improving their current products or services but be careful not to promise undeliverable results.
3. KEEP IT SIMPLE AND FOCUSED, BUT DESCRIPTIVE
You don’t want your proposal to be too long and risk losing your client’s attention. Keep it to only a few pages, 3-4 pages for an unsolicited proposal would be ideal. Be clear and focused in your value proposition and calls to action, because the client is more likely to choose an option if there are fewer choices but be as descriptive as possible of the services proposed. Include a proposed schedule of services, what each step will look like and which employees will be involved so the client can visualize the execution of the project.
What else do you think should be included in a business proposal? If you have been a client on the receiving end, what do you like to see in proposals? Writing business proposals is not always an easy task. If you need a hand in writing business proposals, contact us at Skyfall Blue today.