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How to Write a Proposal that Gets Reviewed and Accepted

Whoa! I just asked for proposals and was gobsmacked by the entire process. Here’s how to write a proposal that gets you the business.

1) Ensure Your “Contact Us” Forms Work

Two of the firms I reached out to never responded. However, when the referring contact mentioned the issue, both firms were quick to blame the technology. I am looking for a new web firm so if their tech isn’t working, why would I hire them? The shoemaker must not only have shoes, but should be wearing Gucci’s!

2) Schedule a Discovery Call

There’s no way to understand potential clients and uncover their needs without a call. I filled out a form, for example, and inserted the website that I wanted revised. Instead, I got a quote for revising my own site!

Calls are also where you build rapport, find unmet needs, and discover if you are a good fit. Sometimes, a Zoom call simply confirms that what you’re offering and what the prospect is looking for are 2 different things.

3) Budget? What Budget?

Virtually no client understands your business and its going rate. When I hop on calls to discuss creating a new brand name, prospects have no idea that it not only takes creative acumen, but due diligence as well. Your job is to explain your process, the result, and the investment.

Pssst: A steal-worthy idea is to get their gut reaction to a number. Example: naming typically costs approximately $15k; is that what you were thinking?

4) Identify the Situation/Problem

Every good proposal starts with your understanding of the issue. The better you understand the issue, the more likely you are to have the right solution.

5) Explain Why You Are the ONLY Solution

Here’s your opportunity to sell you, your credibility, and how you’ve tackled other similar problems. A proposal without your core competency is a sure-fire way to get your proposal rejected.

6) Give the Investment

This is NOT the time to deliver an estimate a range or even this verbiage that I just received: 200 hours @ 197.00 per hour. So, what’s the final price?

7) Timing

Manage expectations from the get-go. Inform the reader how long the project will take from beginning to end.

Look at proposals this way – they are your pathway to the business. No proposals – no chance of a sale. So, put your best foot and proposal forward.

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