- Helping businesses reach their potential and vision.
Business Proposal sample
A Business Proposal is a value proposition on paper. It SAYS
- What you bring to the table
- What you can do to solve another business’s problem
- How you plan to solve that problem
- The fine print of solving the problem (i.e., compensation, time elements, other assets needed to complete the work, etc.).
The first thing you have to understand is that writing one isn’t so much of a science as it is an art form. And, art is subjective. What one potential client might see as a great proposal; another client might disregard. So, while there are basic guidelines and components that should include in any proposal every proposal must also have its own level of creativity.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Often companies will release what’s called an RFP, which means “request for proposal.” This is when a company has a problem that needs to be solved, and they’re inviting people to submit a proposal explaining how they’re going to solve it. That company will then sift through these submissions to weed out unqualified applicants.
As there are many types of RFPs, there are even more types of proposals
TYPES OF PROPOSALS
1 GRANT: One popular type of proposal is a grant. Grant writing involves crafting a proposal to receive funding for a business or cause, as opposed to offering a service
2 REQUESTS FOR QUOTATION: Then there’s what’s called an RFQ (request for quotation), where a company allows vendors to offer a competitive price and bid for the completion of a specific project. RFQs are written similarly to an RFP. Sometimes an RFQ is an attachment to the RFP
3 REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION: An RFI (request for information) is exactly what it sounds like. This is when a potential client requests more information about what you bring to the table so they can decide if they want to go to the next level of sending an RFP your way or not.
4 UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS: There’s also what’s called an “unsolicited proposal,” which is when someone sends out a proposal to a company that didn’t request it. These kinds of proposals are the way many entrepreneurs gain new business. The goal of creating an unsolicited proposal is to notice a missing element or problem a business has and pitch yourself as the one who can solve it.
HOW TO CREATE THE BUSINESS PROPOSALS
1. STUDY THE CLIENTS: How can you make an emotional connection with that client, and cause them to feel secure hiring you if you don’t know how their need relates to the objective?
So, do your homework. Here’s a quick pre-proposal homework checklist:
- Visit the client’s website; check out some videos, read some articles, and study what that client’s brand stands for. This one step alone will cause your proposal to stand head and shoulders above the competition.
- Take a look at their social media content, if they have any. This will help uncover exactly what tone and messaging the client uses when talking to their customers.
- Dive into what it is they’re selling and how they position their offerings.
- Do some cursory research into the audience they serve. What are the pains, desires, or challenges that this audience faces and how do those emotions contribute to their choice to buy from your prospective client?
- Skim a few of the prospective client’s competitors’ websites to understand how they’re different from your prospective client.
Once you understand a potential client’s business, you can infuse that knowledge into your proposal to help them recognize you’ve done your homework and put in the effort to understand them.
2. GATHER YOUR RIGHTS: A client chooses people to handle a task based on the value they provide. That potential client wants to know they’re getting their money’s worth with you and choosing the right person to do the best job. Therefore, you’ll need to pull out all the big stops if you want to create a winning proposal. This includes detailing prior outstanding results on similar projects, testimonials from satisfied past clients, and other proven know-how that can be included. Also, be concise in with the proposal. If what you present is too long-winded, you’ll risk the client’s attention and winning the job.
3. EXPLAIN HOW YOU CAN SOLVE THE PROBLEM:
One piece of advice any great salesman can give you about a great sales letter is a sales letter talks to the potential client, not at them. So, consistently address the client’s need as if you’re talking directly to them. Give them a sample of what you plan to do. A word to the wise: many people goes overboard with the bragging rights and never get around to showing the client they understand what the need is, and how they can solve it.A potential client needs to feel confident you understand what their need is, so make sure you find a way to restate that need early in your proposal, to keep the client engaged with the rest of what you’re saying.
4.CALL TO ACTION: It’s easy for one to assume that the fact they’re writing a solicited proposal is an automatic call to action, but that’s not the case! So, boldly state your desire to take the conversation further: this is the call to action or CTA. For example, to shorten your sale cycle, your CTA might actually be to request an eSignature to initiate the project. The call to action is a clear, concise statement that compels the recipient to take the next step in the consideration process.
STRUCTURE OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
1.STATE THE CLIENTS NEED: A proposal is a conversation. If you’re talking to someone who had a problem, the first thing you’d do to put that person at ease is to repeat back what they said. This helps the listener feel validated and understood. This is how you’d want to start a proposal. Don’t try to sell yourself without first ensuring that the potential client knows that you’ve understood what they said in their RFP, or what their needs are in general.
2. SUMMARIZE THE SOLUTION: In the next section, explain to the client, as concisely as possible, the plan to solve their problem. This part is where you’ll want to show credibility by including similar prior work that produced great results. Give the clients a written appetizer of the steps you’ll take to get the job done.Feel free also to include what you would need to get the job done — this shows you fully understand what it takes to get it done, and isn’t just talk.
3. CALL TO ACTION: After providing the above elements in your proposal, keep that client’s attention by inviting them to discuss things further. And don’t forget to follow up with a reasonable amount of time, again compelling the prospective client to continue the conversation.
Bring your own style and creativity to proposals. Even more importantly, a successful proposal requires an aptitude for understanding the problem that the client is looking to solve so make sure to speak directly to this challenge within your proposal and you’ll be well on your way to winning a new client.
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