A business proposal is essentially a sales document intended to persuade a client to hire your company for products or services; instead of an equally qualified competitor. In order for the proposal to stand out, it has to reinforce your company’s strengths and go over any existing reservations the client may have about hiring you. If the competition is a larger, more established company, then your best hope is to showcase your strengths, such as your ability to solve a specific problem, or the extent to which you have specialized in the client’s field.
Having gone through the usual client requirements, other basics such as the opening and the pitch, the next step is to make sure your proposal stands out. At their core, proposals are meant to communicate why your particular company or service is best suited for the job: never deviate from this perspective.
So what do you discuss on the last page of the proposal? Lets’ go over a few winning points:
Showcase Your Credibility
One way to do this is with customer testimonials. While we all agree that it’s vital for the proposal to focus mainly on the potential client and their specific needs, there should also be room to back up whatever claims you make. If for instance you are submitting a PDF file, then you can incorporate testimonials from happy clients on the last page; and if you’re sending it via email, then you may choose to include a signature file showing a high-profile client or small graphic images showing companies you’ve worked with before.
Testimonials are great when used to establish trust and credibility but make sure you stick to the facts. Don’t fabricate any testimonials, however tempting that may be.
In order for the proposal to be effective, it should include a CTA within the close. This is intended to guide the reader into taking the next step- and that means contacting you. You could ask the client to email you to discuss specific elements of the proposal, or perhaps leave a phone number so they can call you directly.
Include somewhere in the close your online portfolio showcasing samples of previous work; and make sure this comes before the CTA, so that the prospect is sufficiently motivated to follow through with the CTA.
The more you understand the potential client, the better-suited you will be to create an impressive proposal. Are they financial-oriented, or is their main focus Operations? This will determine to a large extent the content in the proposal.
Just so you don’t forget, the document should cover areas such as:
When presenting your argument, try to be smart, tactful and professional; and remember good writing is symptomatic of your abilities. If you can’t manage to express yourself intelligently, it won’t matter what the last page promises: the person reading the document will argue “How good can they be if they can’t create a sensible document?”