9 Steps to Writing a Business Proposal That Wins New Clients

While lead generation may be the most talked-about method of landing new clients for your business, the business proposal is the final key component to reeling them in.

A well-written business proposal can be your ticket to continuous, prosperous ventures. Assuring you land the right projects on terms that work for you. 

The task of writing the perfect proposal can often feel daunting. However, there is a proven formula for writing proposals that convert! Read on to become a proposal writing pro in no time!

1. Set the tone with a professional title and table of contents

Your title page is your first opportunity to set the tone, so it’s important to put some thought into how you would like to present yourself. By putting together a well thought out title page you are showing that you take a professional approach to all aspects of your work. Your title page should include your company’s name, contact information, date of submission, the client’s name, and the client’s job title in a clean and organized manner. You can also add a photo of yourself or your company logo to add a more personal touch.

Following the title page should be a neat and comprehensive table of contents so your potential client can easily navigate your proposal.

2. Pull them in with an engaging introduction

Now that you’ve presented a professional front with your title and table of contents, it’s time to pull the client in with an engaging introduction. The introduction is your opportunity to let your business shine by making a lasting first impression.

A good introduction should offer insight into what your company does, what sets it apart from the competition, and why you are best suited for the job ahead. Here you will want to highlight your commitment and enthusiasm for the proposed project comprehensively while avoiding the trap of being overly wordy. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to do a deep dive into all of your accomplishments further into the proposal. 

3. Cover the finer details with an executive summary

Your executive summary is your hook to reel them in. This is where you present your sales pitch, outlining your client’s needs and how you can be a crucial component in achieving their goals. This is where you get to dive a little deeper into your areas of expertise. Talk about similar problems you’ve solved for other clients and how your knowledge can bring value to their business. Summarize the critical aspects of your proposal, answering who, what, when, why, and how your services will help achieve your client’s goals.

4. Outline the proposed project

Now that you’ve established who you are and why you’re the best choice for the project at hand, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how you’re going to accomplish the project’s goals. First, go into detail explaining your recommended course of action for the project. Then, give the client a timeline for reaching selected milestones and show the steps you’ll take to reach each goal. Use this section as an opportunity to show that you have a deep understanding of the client’s needs and a comprehensive plan for tackling them.

5. Show proof that you can deliver

At this point, the client should have a pretty good understanding of who you are and what you are offering. And while it may all sound good on paper, offering concrete proof of the value you’ve brought to other projects is the next logical step to sealing the deal. This is where you let your work speak for itself by offering examples of previous work you’ve done for similar clients, testimonials from people you’ve worked for in the past, reviews on your services, and anything else that can serve as an example to show you are more than just big ideas.

Many opt for a quick note stating that samples may be found on a website or portfolio. However, we find it’s much more effective to provide the proof in the proposal itself.  

6. Establish your budget and pricing

This is the section of a business proposal that many new business owners struggle with the most. But it’s also one of the most crucial parts of your proposal.

Finding the right price requires a delicate balance on charging what you are worth, while at the same time not pricing yourself out of the competition. Some methods for helping navigate this area without sending a potential client into sticker shock is by breaking your price down by service or offering a few different pricing tiers for different levels of service.

7.  Set the terms and conditions

This is where you clarify exactly what the client will be getting upon entering into a contract with you. By setting clear and concise terms and conditions now, you can avoid awkward conversations later. Some examples of caveats and conditions you may want to outline here include the number of revisions you will do on a piece of work, rights of usage for anything you create for the company (such as logos and graphics if you are a designer), and what guarantees you have in place if agreed-upon deadlines aren’t met.

8. Specify the next steps

Now that you have sold them on your services, give the client a quick overview of the next steps that need to be taken to get the project rolling. This can include meetings that need to take place to fine-tune the details, contacts that need to be signed, kick-off dates, deposits to be paid, and so forth.

9. Wrap up all the finer points in your conclusion

Your conclusion should touch briefly on the most important aspects of all the previous sections. This is your final send-off and your last word to the client before they make their final decision, so be sure to make it a true greatest hits of all the reasons they should pick you for the prospective job offer.

Closing Thoughts

Although business proposals are commonplace in many industries, we often lose sight of what makes them truly effective. By implementing the tactics in this guide, you can ensure that your business proposals are working as hard as you are to land new clients. 


Guest Post Author BIO

Aaron Beashel is Head Of Marketing At Qwilr a company that is helping businesses re-imagine the way they create proposals, sales and marketing documents.

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