Why did you lose your last business opportunity? And the previous one? How often have you analyzed why your potential clients chose your competitors and promising deals were not closed? Have you ever considered the problem might lie in your (sometimes non-existent) business proposal?
Based on my experience, I would say that the main reason for a failure was because the client was unsure and lacked information. E-mails, portfolio galleries, and phone calls sometimes aren’t convincing enough and may not persuade a customer that you totally understand their needs and can complete a task at a reasonable price. The solution to all these problems is a well-developed business proposal.
A Business Proposal to Inform, Persuade and Motivate
Usually, a business proposal is written in response to a particular request from your potential customer. It offers a certain way of conducting business and provides detailed descriptions with concrete figures, specific solutions and various sections which you will find below.
On the other hand business proposals may be more general and small by size and may not be addressed to a specific buyer. This kind of business proposal is called “unsolicited” and it is supposed to introduce your company and products or services, and usually is sent by mail to all potential clients.
It is more a marketing solution and the main goal here is not to sell a specific product yet but to provoke interest in the company and the team and to lead to future negotiations in order to get clients interested in your offerings. Such are the differences between the two main types of business proposals: solicited and unsolicited.
Set Goals for a Well-Developed Business Proposal
Whatever the type of business proposal you may need, the goals are quite obvious and approximately the same:
- Who owns the information also owns a promising deal. First of all, your proposal should give relevant information to your potential client. That is why you should try to include all of the required facts about your exclusive product or service, and you should not forget about the prices and other commercial terms. Do your best to be client-oriented; always try to be in your client’s shoes so that you will have a clear understanding of your client’s needs.
- The power of persuasion. Agood business proposal should amaze your client, fascinate and raise interest. Be brief andcogent while persuading your client that your proposal and your product or service works best for his project and meets his requirements most of all. Provide evident examples from your business experience. To cut a long story short your business proposal should be “sexy”. But this will be another story.
- Don’t seem to be, just be. After reading your proposal a potential buyer should get a favorable impression of your company, have no doubts in your experience, expertise, qualification, etc. However, it doesn’t mean you should overestimate your talents and achievements; just always try to focus on your strengthens.
Get Things Structured
To sell your products or services you should have a clearly structured business proposal. Generally it should provide information about your company, your solution propositions, including how, when, where, and why you will do them. Usually it includes a certain number of sections that can vary depending on the type of business or other peculiarities.
- Executive summary. This section gives an overview of your proposal’s content. Intent attention to this passage will be paid by those clients who are always in a hurry and have no time for reading the whole proposal. At the same time the executive summary will guide and focus on the main points for those customers who are intended to read it to the very end.
- Company profile. Company profile section includes the history of your company, main clients, and rewards or other achievements if applicable. Also, you can add your company/team expertise and point out experience in a similar sphere. Freelances can skip the company information and concentrate on their expertise only.
- System understanding. In this part you may describe your vision of the client’s needs and requirements, and how thoroughly you understand the problem. In other words, the original client RFP should be the basis for this section.
- Proposed solution. Be ready for the main part of the proposal where you can apply all your ideas and best practices. Address all client requests, write in details with what you propose, and explain your strategy for a seamless solution and launch. Also, it is really important to introduce how your proposals will benefit the client’s company, and help it to achieve success.
- Time and costs. Include estimation of your time and efforts in this section, outline all project milestones, such as the project start date and progress reports delivery. It is crucial to make it clear what exactly is estimated and what is currently out of scope. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings in the future and also save money.
- Additional information. Feel free to build this section with other information you consider relevant for the proposal.
It goes without saying that you can create your business proposals with word documents, but there are online tools which can also help you prepare a proposal with ease.
A well-composed business proposal determines the success of your future deal. The best thing you can do for your business is to write a competent client-oriented proposal. So don’t keep your potential clients waiting — start creating your proposal right now and enjoy success!
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