Maybe you’re a new member of your marketing team and have received handed-down proposal templates used by your colleagues. This will help you write and work on your client presentations faster.
However, the document you inherited may be outdated and ineffective. Run through this simple checklist to assess if your proposal needs an upgrade. We will only discuss the content for now. Comment on this post if you’d like me to share tips on formatting and presentation.
Cover Letter or Executive Summary
Your cover letter briefly explains the intent of your proposal. Check if the content answers the question: “Why do I need your product or service?” Summarize the benefits for the prospective clients and the problem you wish to address.
You may include a sentence or two about your company achievements to establish credibility. However, details, including your awards or list of clients, can be included in the latter part.
Remember, the cover letter is about “what’s in it for the client” and not about you.
Problem and Solution
Assign a page or two to discuss the problem of your prospective client and the results you wish for them to achieve through your products or services. Do your research. Customizing the information based on what you know about your prospects will give the impression that you care about what they do and understand their situation.
Outline the core of your proposal by mentioning how your product or services will achieve the desired result of your target client. This part may contain the steps to roll out the project or corresponding features and benefits of the product.
Note the difference between features and benefits. Features may be technical for your reader, and they’ll be more concerned if you rephrase the words as benefits instead.
For example, if you’re selling office chairs, highlighting the features will use these words:
“24” cushioned powder-coated stainless steel with leather backrest and wheels.”
If you describe the same product focused on the benefits, you can say:
“Our sturdy office chairs lets you sit comfortably for hours and move around your workspace swiftly.”
Find a way to keep your descriptions balanced.
Gather reviews from previous clients or photos from past projects you’ve successfully launched. This will help the reader perceive you as a credible company. It’s also practical that you position yourself well because you’re disclosing about the costs next.
Your cost may be stated in the proposal or discussed through a face-to-face meeting if your rates are subject to negotiation. You have an option to include a comparison chart for different packages but limit the options to three.
Call to Action
End your proposal with a call to action, including ways for your prospective client to reach you.