The idea of creating a business proposal can be intimidating, especially when you’re starting your own business. It’s likely that your mind is filled with images of having to write a detailed business plan and creating financial forecasts.
Take a deep breath. Creating a business proposal doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be easy, especially if you use a professional template-based business proposal creation tool like ClientPoint.
Think of a business proposal as a digital sales presentation between you and your potential client. As such, you need to show the client why you, and only you, are the perfect match to help their business, and that you’ll bring value and positive ROI to their company (https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/how-to-write-a-winning-proposal.html).
In this post we’re going to walk you through the things you should do to prepare yourself before writing your business proposal.
1. Pre-Qualify Your Lead
Not every lead that contacts you will be qualified to purchase from you. Some may be looking for the cheapest price or they may not have the money to afford you (https://www.gtms-inc.com/From-Propose-to-Close-in-3-steps_ep_254.html). When possible, you want to avoid wasting your time creating in-depth business proposals for unqualified leads. Figuring out if the potential customer is qualified to buy from you is the first step in your pre-qualification process.
The simplest way to qualify your lead is to call or email them and ask questions like, when do you intend to start this project, and, how much is your budget for this project? If the client fiddles and fidgets about it, that may be a red flag, and an indication that they may not be committed to doing business with you (https://blog.hubspot.com/agency/qualifying-questions-prospects). On the other hand, if you find that they are just as enthusiastic about the project as you are, then you can confidently move to step 2.
2. Answer These Questions
Before rolling up your sleeves to put together your pitch, ask yourself these questions:
-Why is the prospect looking for help?
-Why should they pick my business?
-Why shouldn’t they pick competition?
-Why is my solution the best one for the client?
The secret to winning a business proposal is to answer every "why question" that could ruin your persuasion efforts by coming up with appropriate and compelling solutions. You’ve probably been in a situation where the client chose a competitor’s product or service even though your solution was better. Why is this?
Because with proposals, it’s not about choosing the most experienced, the most skilled, or the most proficient. It’s about choosing the best fit. From the client's viewpoint, they want to know who understands our needs the best? Who will give us the best solution (https://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/competitive-bids.html)? This simply means thinking in terms of benefits and not features. You want the client to focus on what you will actually do and the ROI you will provide rather than just the features you provide.
3. Understand Your Client
To figure out the answers to the above questions, you should first confirm that you know something about the client. Your proposal needs to demonstrate that you completely understand the client’s industry and the setbacks they are facing. Therefore, the first step is to conduct extensive research about the customer. This is where many people go wrong.
Too often, proposals are full of legal, technical, and marketing jargon that bores the client, or they’re just packed with information about the company, me, myself and I, with little to no attention given to the customer and their specific needs. Nothing says you are unprofessional more than a proposal that doesn’t address the addressee (https://www.inc.com/guides/present-your-business-plan.html).
Proving to your client that you completely understand their situation opens a win-win platform where the client is open to whatever you are saying and more easily persuaded with what you are offering. In particular, every part of your pitch should portray one loud message -- here’s how I intend to solve your problem (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/21834).
4. Offer an Upfront Consultation
Now that you have completed your research on the client, there’s one more thing you should do before you start writing the business proposal. You should offer an upfront consultation. Although some people may find this pointless, it is important to think about what an upfront consultation does for you in regards to winning a contract (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/51268).
First, it allows your client to know you to on a personal level rather than being just an anonymous salesperson. This will increase the chances that your business proposal will be accorded the attention it truly deserves.
Secondly, it enables you to understand the needs of the prospect more fully. Once you meet with your client, you’ll uncover deeper insights into what his problems are, and the best way to solve them.
Finally, show him how much value you can offer upfront. This involves being able to persuade the client that you are the perfect fit for helping them. Put forward exciting ideas and solutions that will get the customer hooked to what you’re offering and hooked on you.
Don’t forget to take as many notes as you can. Your notes will come in handy when you start writing your business proposal.
Writing the Business Proposal
Once you get through all of these items, then you’re finally able to begin writing your business proposal. One of the best ways to turn a good proposal into an amazing proposal is to use business proposal software such as ClientPoint. ClientPoint will help you create outstanding business proposals without having to worry about design or formatting. In addition, ClientPoint contains different proposal templates that are easily customization to help you create a custom proposal that perfectly fits your company's brand image.
The Bottom Line
It all comes down to earning trust from your prospect so they want to purchase the solution you are offering. As such, addressing all of their concerns beforehand will give them confidence about their choice to do business with you and the future success of their business. Learning all of the above before writing a business proposal will help you convert a higher percentage of new business.
If you really want your business proposals, quotes and contracts to stand out and give you the best chance at winning new clients, use ClientPoint Software. It makes creating and formatting professional business proposals, quotes, and contracts fast and easy. Click here to get a free demo of ClientPoint Software or call us at 888-972-7375.