5 Proposal Tips

Having a conversation with by buddy Adam Wright inspired me to jot down a few of the things I’ve learned about writing proposals — hopefully, they are helpful to you!

1. Send as quickly as possible.
According to data collected by BetterProposals, proposals sent within 24 hours of talking to the client convert 23% better.

When you schedule your last meeting with the client before the proposal, add another hour in your calendar to write the proposal as soon as the call is over. Increasing your chances by 23% is not insignificant!

2. Don’t let the price be a surprise
If your prospect has no idea what to expect when it comes to the price, then you’re playing a dangerous guessing game (and likely wasting time writing proposals that will never get signed).

I try to give my prospects a wide range on our first interaction (just to weed out the tire kickers) and then give them a number to expect in the proposal (usually a very tight range or exact number) just before I send them the proposal.

3. Avoid sending a proposal on Friday
Going back to sending the proposal as quickly as possible, you also want them to sign it right away. Sending a proposal on Friday means they might just briefly glance at it before leaving the office and they’ll have all weekend to think of reasons to NOT spend the money.

4. Include a case study
If you use something like BetterProposals, having a page with a case study on it is a great way to show your expertise. You can put together just 3 or 4 case studies as examples and send whichever one is most appropriate.

By seeing that you’ve achieved results for others, people are going to be a lot more confident you can do the same for them.

5. Paint a picture of success
I’ve changed out my cover letter to follow a simple formula: Problem, Solution, Success.

In the first paragraph, I explain the problems the client is facing (really make them feel it!). In the second paragraph, I briefly explain what kind of solution I’ll provide to solve the problem. And I finish it up with a paragraph about what life will be like once the project is completed.

This doesn’t have to be long (in fact, it probably shouldn’t be), but this little formula helps break you of writer’s block and paints a picture of success for the customer to envision themselves in.

Bonus tip: You can ask these questions in your project inquiry form (eg. “What problems are you facing?”, “What are you looking to accomplish?”, “What will success look like?”), then repurpose their answers for your proposal. The client literally writes this for you!

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