The golden rule with proposals, is they should only ever be sent to confirm what has already been agreed upon in a meeting.
You should agree on a price with the client in your meeting whilst you are still in control of the conversation.
When you do build your proposal there is a structure you can use. You want to reinforce all the great stuff that you do, the value and the benefits to the client. There are 5 elements that you should build into your proposal…
#1 - Restate the pain
Start your proposal by reminding the client of the pain they are currently facing or will face if they continue as they are. People are more motivated by the avoidance of pain than by the attainment of gain.
When you spoke to your client you hopefully uncovered what their problems are, what they need solving.
Open your proposal with a reminder of this pain.
#2 - Quantify the pain
If you can, try to put a number to that pain. You can uncover some of these numbers in your meeting with the client.
Identify how much money they are losing, how many problems they are having with uncollected debts because of cash flow. It could be the amount of time they are wasting.
Whatever you uncover in the meeting, restate it in the proposal. It makes the pain more real if the client can see a figure. It also helps later to contrast it to your price.
#3 - Desired Outcomes
What is the result the client is looking for?
You should ask this in the meeting. What is the desired outcome? What is the client hoping to get?
So, you have shown the client the pain, then shown them what they could have. This will make your solution seem really valuable because it will get them to that point.
#4 - Payment terms
Do not forget to include the payment terms in your proposal. This is critically important.
Once you have the price and payment terms agreed on in the meeting you need to secure this by putting it in the proposal.
It’s important you decide on the price during the meeting whilst the client is with you so that you can maintain control of the conversation.
#5 - What you are going to do
Finally, go into detail about what you are going to do for the client.
You need to go into a lot of detail. Don’t just tell them what you are going to do, tell them why you are doing it, what problems it will solve and what results it will achieve.
Really emphasise the benefit and value to the client.
If you really sell the client on the value, then the price will become insignificant to them.
This is the structure you should use to write a great proposal.
Remember the golden rule: the proposal should only be sent to confirm what has already been agreed on.
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Chartered Accountant, public speaker and author of #1 Amazon best-seller, “Effective Pricing for Accountants”
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