Getting a client or a company to sign on a contract with you is due in part to a great proposal that you presented. We all can agree that proposals are a key part of winning a new client and bagging a key project.

Below are my top tips on getting your chances of nabbing that dream client of yours based on my years of experience sending proposals to stand out from the rest of the competition.

1. Study templates and create your own reusable template – The first thing on the list is to go on Google and search for proposal templates that fit your style. Pick one, any of them and start tweaking it to your liking. You are going to look more polished by featuring your personal logo, your own headline and cleaner fonts. Avoid fonts that are hard to read or too striking. Add a footer with your contact details such as your email address, website, 1 social media account and a contact number. Make sure to convert your Word or Pages document into a PDF before you send it. Never send it in raw format unless you want them to edit it.

2. Pitch an opportunity statement – What is your vision for this project? Write it down in direct, no flowery 2-3 sentences with the opportunity you see and what you look forward to providing value to your clients.

3. Scope of work/deliverables – You’re creating a proposal because it’s telling your client what they’re going to pay you for and what they’ll expect to receive from you. Make sure to state your list of deliverables and the pricing for it. Be specific and straight to the point. If there’s any deliverables that you wrote down that’s redundant, take one out. Read it 3 times to make sure there’s nothing to correct. Leave no room for errors.

4. Indicate an EXPIRY DATE – You know the phrase “Offer good while supplies last”? Same thing applies to this. Just think about this, you sent 10 proposals and got 8 clients to say YES to you. You’re going to be flooded with work right away. Great right? But that will be such a mess to deal with all at the same time for sure. Make sure to indicate a date where they will agree to the terms for the specific deliverables. Ex. “Kindly reply to this with proposal on or before (insert date)”.

5. Include the fine print of the proposal – Is there a 75% deposit before any work begins? When is it due? Is there an hourly rate or added costs after the committed number of works to be done? What’s the rate for work beyond the scope of work? What are your rights if the client terminates your contract without prior notice and within your contract date. Get legal advice or Google the basics of the legalities of it so you can get specific with the terms of your proposal. That’s the fine print at the bottom of the page.

After sending your proposal, make sure to follow up with your client after 2 days of sending the proposal then a week after sending it if you haven’t heard from them yet. Right after sending it via email, ask for an acknowledgement if you can via text message or chat message to make sure that they got it and it didn’t go to their spam folder. If they don’t respond still after that, it’s a good sign for you to move on to the next one. It’s not the end of the road for you, so keep going. Rejections are a key vital part of life and business. Deal with rejections positively always.

Question of the day: Have you gotten any of your proposals approved this year? If not, why?

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What people talk 1 Comment

January 19, 2021 rhona

When most people write a project proposal they focus, quite naturally, on the project and how it is to be conducted. What they are overlooking is that what is important is the outcome. A good project is not a thing of beauty entire to itself, but a means to an end. The second element that is often overlooked is understanding what the audience needs from the proposal, rather than what the proposer wants to put in to the project. In that sense there is an immediate conflict between the proposal writer and the proposal assessors.

So, instead of starting your planning with what the project is, think carefully what difference will be made as a result of the project – specifically in terms that the audience for the proposal can appreciate as relevant to them, their organisation and even society. If there is a financial benefit, make that the centre of the argument – for an audience that is focused on the financial benefit. If there is a social benefit make that the centre of the argument for an audience concerned with social improvement.

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