Why you should never, ever send a proposal through the post

value pricing Jan 30, 2017

Never, ever send a proposal if you want to win clients

As the author of the Amazon number-one bestseller “Effective Pricing for Accountants”, I’d like to share why you should never, ever send a proposal through the post.

If you prefer to watch rather than read you can watch the video here.


How to lose clients. Or, what NOT to do …

Probably the best way to illustrate this is by telling you about the mistakes I made when I started my accounting firm, back in 1996. For the first two and a half years, even though I grew very quickly, I had no idea about pricing. This meant, for example, that although I did a lot of marketing and saw a lot of potential clients, often impressing the heck out of them with my background in tax planning and all the ideas I came up with, at the end of the meeting, having done all the hard work, I’d blow it. They'd say, “Mark, this sounds brilliant. We want to work with you. How much will it cost?” And I’d reply – and this is the big mistake I want you to avoid – “Hmm, I don't know. Let me think about it and send you a proposal through the post.”

And what happened, more often than not? What happened was I rarely heard from them again.

What’s the first thing you look for in a quote?

I’d like you to think for a moment about the last time you received a quote by post or email – perhaps when you asked a local gardener or decorator to do some work for you. Where did the price appear? I’m guessing that it was at the bottom of the page. And what was the first thing you looked for? Guessing again, I imagine it was the price.

And that's exactly what your prospective clients do. They get your proposal and the first thing they look for is the price. And when they see the price, without any context, they make an instant judgement about how big it is. And nine times out of ten, it’s: “Ouch. That's more than I was expecting.”

Avoid that “game over” situation

The trouble is, because you're no longer with them you can’t deal with any objections. You've lost control of the process and the chances are you won't hear from them again. If they've got an existing accountant or bookkeeper, they’ll probably say to them, “I've had this through the post. Can you beat it?” Which is the end of the game for you.

So to reiterate: please never, ever send a proposal through the post – unless it’s to confirm what you've already agreed and signed in your meeting.

If you found this post valuable, then please let me know in the comments below. Or you can find out more by watching the video here.


Every month I provide free online training helping accounting professionals get results from value pricing. If you want to get access to that free training click here to register your place on the list of people I invite.

Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.

Mark Wickersham
Chartered Accountant, public speaker and #1 best-selling author of
Effective Pricing for Accountants

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