Submitting a great business proposal or quote is a key part of ultimately closing a deal. Be sure to keep in touch with your prospect throughout the entire sales process by using a simple CRM and sales tracking app like Base.
A solid business proposal can be enough to win you your next deal or project. It can be what separates you from the pack. Here are some tips to help you knock your next business proposal out of the park.
1. Know What Your Customer Needs.
Your proposal shouldn’t be centered around your fantastic products or benefits of working with your firm. It should focus on addressing your customer’s needs. What problems does he have? How can your company solve the problems?
Sometimes the customer doesn’t get specific about his needs, and you have to read between the lines. For example, if you’re a web design firm and your client says he wants more sales, what he really needs, at least from you, is more visitors. That you can achieve with a well-designed site.
2. Keep it Simple.
You can find dozens of proposal templates online, but stick to the basics. You’ll need to include:
- An overview of your company
- The goals you want to help the client achieve
- An outline of how you’ll achieve those goals
- A timeline for getting it done
- Policies, such as cancellation
- Contact information
3. Get Professional.
You can modify any number of business proposal templates online, or you can use software like QuoteBase, which allows you to modify proposal modules and email the finished product directly to your clients.
Once you create your own business template (meaning it’s got the same information you’ll use on hundreds of proposals), you can hang on to it and modify it for each client proposal you put together.
4. Keep Them on Their Toes.
Business proposals don’t have to be boring. Don’t be afraid to inject a little of your own personality into it (as long as it’s professional). Graphics, too, can spice up a proposal and keep it interesting.
5. Re-Read it for Errors
So many salespeople pen off a proposal and hit “send” without spell-checking or reading through it one last time. Read it to make sure it’s easy to understand. Keep sentences short. Make sure you define any terms the reader might not know. And of course, make sure there are no grammatical errors! There are few things that will turn a potential client away more than a proposal full of errors.
The key to a killer proposal is doing your homework and making sure you keep the customer at the center of it. Make sure the amount you quote is what you end up charging (sometimes companies update their pricing and forget to update it in the proposal), and clearly outline what the rate includes.
After you present the proposal, make sure you’re available to answer questions and close the sale!