An excellent business proposal is not merely a document; it is a blueprint that shows your clients what they can achieve if they partner with you. It is similar to saying to your clients, "Look at this amazing vision, and let me show you exactly how we can make it happen together”. As such, the blueprint of that dream has to be super convincing, making your clients not just curious but genuinely excited to learn more.
So when should you send a proposal? Recent statistics show that It is likely that you will see a conversion rate of 25.9% if you send a proposal within 24 hours of making contact with a client, and it will take an average of 6 days for the client to sign it. To send it within 24 hours you need to know how to draft a great proposal first.
So, in this article we will take you through the seven steps that will transform your proposal from a mere document into a persuasive masterpiece—a proposal that not only captures attention but seals the deal, propelling you toward success.
What Are The Components of a Winning Business Proposal?
A good business proposal that will stand out from the crowd and get you immediate results, will have the following components:
- An executive summary: A summary is a concise, clear statement of all the main points - the problem, the solution, and the expected benefits of the contract. As with any proposal, the executive summary is your " promotional pitch." So make this space engaging and persuasive and utilize it to give the reader a quick snapshot of the document's content.
- The problem: The most important component of a business proposal is stating the problem of your clients. Defining the client's problem or need paves the way for you to provide a suitable solution in the proposal. Therefore, pinpoint the areas of concern for your clients and be clear about how you can assist them. This section's objective is to describe the significance of your proposal.
- Solution: This is the part where you will explain the plan you'll employ to solve the issue. This section specifies what your product or service does for the customer and how it particularly addresses their demands. Your proposal must clearly, precisely, and convincingly outline the key elements of your idea.
- The scope of the work: The particular tasks, deliverables, and deadline for the project must all be listed in the business proposal. Make it obvious to the client what you will accomplish for them and what they may anticipate from you. Expectations may be controlled as a result, and everyone will receive clarity.
- Team Expertise: Emphasize the experience and credentials of the team members working on the project. It gives prospective customers or business partners confidence that you possess the knowledge and abilities required to keep your commitments. Trust is a foundational element in any business relationship, and showcasing your team's expertise helps establish it.
- Client References or Testimonials: Wherever possible, include references from previous clients or testimonials that speak to your company's capabilities and the quality of your work. Testimonials and references provide independent validation of your company's capabilities and the quality of your work. They serve as evidence that your services or products have delivered value to previous clients, making your proposal more persuasive.
- Terms and Conditions of Service Agreement: This section is important because it puts down all of the proposal's terms and conditions, such as the payment schedule, the deliverables, the warranties, and any other legal specifics. If needed, you can also include a confidentiality agreement, and intellectual property rights may also be included in this section.
7 Steps to Write a Stellar Business Proposal
The power of a stellar business proposal can often determine whether you land new clients, secure funding, or win a new project. So let us see the 7-step process to write a good proposal that will seal the deal.
- Tailoring Your Proposal to Address Their Needs and Pain Points
Never attempt to adapt a single template to each client when drafting a proposal that grabs your client's attention. Give each customer a proposal that is customized to meet their individual requirements. Making your messages more unique will go a long way toward demonstrating your dedication to the project. Try to include specific details or challenges they have discussed with you during your discussion. By doing this, you show them that you have listened to them and are focusing on their needs.
- Writing Style and Tone: Striking the Right Balance
Your proposal must maintain a formal tone but should not be too technical or long. Avoid using a lot of technical terminology. Be as straightforward as you can. (Remember the KISS principle?)
The proposal should be viewed as a conversation with a professional tone. Using language that resonates with your audience will help you engage them by speaking directly to them and using language that speaks to them.
- Breaking Down Costs and Justifying Pricing
Transparency at the start paves the way for a smooth experience for both sides. And so, it becomes crucial that the cost of the project must be disclosed clearly in the business proposal. Provide a clear breakdown of the costs associated with your work. It is essential not to present the numbers simply but to explain why these expenses are justified. You should emphasize to your client the value they will receive for their investment. The breakdown of costs and the justification of those costs help to build trust and confidence.
- Showcasing Expertise and Experience
Clients need to have the confidence that their projects or businesses will be handled by competent individuals. Imagine you are availing a service of a small business. Without knowing their experience with proof to support them, how will you trust them? Because of this, it's crucial to emphasize your knowledge and experience in the company proposal. Making a strong initial impression is important, but it's also important to inspire trust in your ability to deliver. What can you do, then? You might discuss your achievements, perhaps provide some case studies, or highlight any relevant certifications you may have.
- Formatting and Presentation
Reports suggest that a proposal with a catchy cover page converts 45% more than normal proposals. This report shows us how visually appealing and easily navigable proposals are the best of all. A well-structured proposal can catch your client’s attention quickly just as a poorly formatted or cluttered proposal can turn people off. Text can be easily digestible if it is broken up into headings, subheadings, bullet points, and graphics. A proposal should be well-organized and visually enticing to appeal to your target audience and make them take further action.
- Review and Refinement Process
There is a quote - A good sentence is written once. But the best sentence is the one that is rewritten countless times. No, you don't need to write your business proposal a thousand times but you need to ensure it's perfect before you send your proposal or hand it over. Proofread the proposal carefully to prevent grammatical or typographical errors. If you find it hard to do it manually, you can use tools like Grammarly which will remove clerical errors. Making silly mistakes is acceptable in real life but when it comes to business, your professionalism may be undermined because of those.
- Setting Clear Next Steps
To conclude your proposal, outline clear next steps at the end. What is the best course of action for the client after reading the proposal? A follow-up meeting, sign the contract, or give feedback? Be specific about what you expect from each party. End the proposal with a link that will re-route to your website or give your contact number. The easier they can connect with you, the better.
Still unsure about how to write business proposals? All you need to do is check out Cone’s proposal-to-payment software. This software has everything you need - From client onboarding, preparing proposals and even communicating with the clients for you!
The Art of Follow-Up and Communication
Remember that your proposal may not speak for itself. As soon as your proposal has been sent, follow up on it after a decent interval. Clients will thus understand that you are committed to the project and are ready to address any queries or worries they may have. Communication throughout this stage must be prompt and courteous. Don't be pushy - give them time and follow up only when you feel that the communication is dried up and you will not hear from their end.
These techniques might help you create a compelling business proposal that will impress your audience and increase your chances of success. You must keep in mind that writing a successful business proposal requires more than merely stating facts. The main goal of a stellar business proposal should be to persuade customers that your solution is the best fit for their requirements. So, make sure the proposals are customized for each client and project, as well as being as specific and convincing as possible. Give your time to create an exceptional business proposal and go get that client!