A good proposal can easily triple your conversions. I spent years monitoring countless versions of many proposals to see which ones converted and which ones were duds. The first thing you have to know about a great proposal is that everything starts with the discovery call. The discovery call is that initial call with the prospect where you get the information you need to write a great proposal. Without fully understanding the scope of the job and the goal of the client, it doesn’t matter how well written the proposal is, it will fall on deaf ears.
Assuming you had a good discovery call with the prospect, putting together the proposal is the next step. First, don’t use a boilerplate template. it is ok to use guidelines, but getting a proposal that is 95% boilerplate will have the lowest conversion rates. Prospects want to see you took time, and care, developing the proposal.
When writing a proposal you have to asses the prospects:
Needs: What is their need, what exactly are they looking for?
Budget: They need to state the budget, offer one first. Say something like “And your budget for this is somewhere in the $XXX range? Start high because human psychology will remember that first number. Tell them that their proposal will be so much more accurate with a budget so get them to confirm a range.
Authority: Ask them if they are the decision maker, the one that can sign off on an agreement if we decided to work together. If not, get the basics and cut the call short.
Timing: What is their timing? If they want it done yesterday, we will charge more given the rush.
Also in the proposal, you should address:
Their biggest issue: Do they have a lead generation problem? Is their existing writer not proficient with creative writing?
What the impact will be: Have them answer what the value is if this project doesn’t get completed.
How important it is to them: You’re asking them this. Is this important to their job performance or review? Is it important for the company revenue or bottom line?
Don’t sell them your service, you are selling on the opportunity they don’t want to miss out on. In other words, prescribe them, like a doctor. Tell them, this is what you need to do and show them that you are the solution to this problem.
Putting the above into your proposal will greatly increase your chances of conversion.
When it comes time to present the proposal, don’t just email it. Schedule a time with the prospect to go over it in person. Next to writing a great proposal, this is the single best aspect of converting a prospect to a client. While presenting it live, you are able to immediately squash any objections or questions they have.
Also, be sure to log every proposal after presenting it. File it in a folder and keep stats on who you presented to. Stats like # of employees, industry, age of company, discovery call date, signed contract date, etc. Doing this will help you better understand who your ideal client is once you have enough data.