Writing a sales proposal requires you to persuasively articulate your understanding of the potential customer’s problem, as well as present arguments explaining why your proposal is the best one. Let’s take a look at how to write an offer that gets a “yes”.
Creating a business proposal is like building a house. Just as the construction of a house varies depending on the location and preferences of the architect or owner, the components of a business proposal can vary depending on the industry, the size of the company, and many other factors. In any case, there are certain elements that are always needed. The recipient of your proposal will want to get the following three things out of it.
Information about your company: Who are you, what are your qualifications, and why should a potential client choose you over your competitors? Demonstrated knowledge of the problem: Show that you have listened and gathered information and that you know what the customer needs. Pricing and methodology: how exactly are you going to solve the customer’s problem and how much will it cost?
Here are 10 specific steps you should follow when creating a proposal:
Include basic information such as company name and contact details, logo, name, date and title. This makes the proposal look neat and organized.
You wouldn’t approach your potential client without introducing yourself, right? The cover letter is just a presentation of who you are “and what you come with.” Include a brief background of your company, basic information about how it came to be and why it is better than the rest. Make sure the tone is friendly and fits your industry. Close your cover letter with a thank you note and signature.
Unless your offer is very short, include a table of contents in outline form. This will help the reader know what to expect in the document. When sending your offer electronically, you can create a linked table of contents so that a potential customer can easily visit sections without having to navigate through multiple pages.
Pre-set the background already for the specific offer – why are you sending it and why should the customer read it? Combine mentions of your company’s offer with answers to the customer’s problems to make it more engaging.
In this section, describe the solution you’re proposing as well as the anticipated outcome of the project and the overall timeframe. Also note the client’s needs and let them know that you are in charge.
The proposal section is a general overview of the solution your company has developed for the potential client. This step, in turn, provides detailed information. Anticipate their questions and walk them through the process so they know what they are signing up for when they hire you.
Describe exactly what results they can expect and when they can expect them. A timeline that links the results to the expected date makes the document more visually appealing and the information easier to digest.
You said hello with your cover letter, but the “about us” section is where you can really show off what makes your company the best in the industry. Let potential clients get to know your organization. Include brief biographies and photos of the people they will be working with. Include information about your past successes, awards and social proof in the form of customer testimonials.
This is where you specify the duration of the contract, reiterate the general schedule, payment terms and types, when and how the proposal can be changed, etc. Essentially, this is an overview of what you and the client are promising each other by agreeing to the proposal. This step will likely be standard among most proposals your company sends out, so keep it to simplify the proposal writing process in the future.
Once you’ve sent your offer, don’t forget to contact your potential client and ask them if they have any questions. It’s best if you put the document in a virtual share file (such as Microsoft Word).
Using this tool allows you to not only know when a potential client viewed your proposal, but also how many times they opened it and which sections they spent the most time on, so you can anticipate their questions when you contact them.
Main article image: photo by DocuSign, source: unsplash.com