Increasing your chances of having a proposal approved is more than just filling it out with details and hoping it gets the green light. Closing deals is an art that every marketer, entrepreneur or businessman must know, but how about closing one on a business proposal?
Going above and beyond can dramatically turn the tides in your favour, thereby landing you a new client. Here, we list down tips that can convince your client to give you what you need.
Get Them Involved Right From The Start
Don’t underestimate the power of engagement. In marketing, engagement has always been a factor, and this should be the same for when you’re making a business proposal.
Get the client involved when you’re setting up the plan design. Take them through your process so they will have an idea of what you’re working with. When they feel a sense of ownership, they’d naturally want to approve it because they have had a hand in its creation.
Ask for feedback so you can improve the finer details and to build the client’s trust before an official partnership is formed. This educates future stakeholders about your decisions and strategy. If they like what they’re seeing, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t reject the proposal.
Make Sure That It’s 100% Free Of Error
Business proposals are inherently professional, and as such it’s your job to make it appear like so. A single typo or one glaring format error can result in a perfectly good proposal down the bin. Companies will expect a certain level of quality and craftsmanship from all their future partners, so when you don’t put in the effort, then they would think that you won’t be able to reach their expectations.
So, before clicking on that “Send” button, go over your plan at least once and have a spell check conducted. Weed out grammar, spelling and structural errors and keep the font and colours at a minimum. Have your significant other, a close friend or family member proofread and hear what they have to say.
Take advantage of available solutions to make business proposals easier. There are pre-designed business templates you can use to cut back the time needed and easily edit for emergency changes before the client receives the content.
Convince your client to take action regarding your proposal so you won’t have to wait as long. There are several ways on how you can do this without imposing on your prospect and risking your chances of being accepted.
Did you know that deadlines can sometimes be used to great effect? Having one in your business proposal shows the client you mean business and want to have them take up the offer in X days or so. This gets the company to commit and have a ready answer for you. For added incentive, state that you can only honour the offered services or plan within the given timeframe.
You can also set a soft deadline by setting a date on when you’ll be starting the project. Base it on the client’s needs and requirements as you understand them. The key here is to set the deadline according to your client’s timeline so they won’t be upset with your terms.
A Timely Follow-Up Is Better Than None
Most people would stop once they’ve sent the proposal to the client. They’d relax for a few days and hope that the client has read it and will give them a call on what they think about your plan.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work 100% of the time. There’s a chance that you’ll be waiting forever for that call (which may never come). Or, the client is expecting a call from you so they can further discuss the salient details.
What should you do in this case? Do a follow up soon after the proposal has been read by the prospect. Tools like Qwilr can notify you of this. And by having this function, notifies you of the perfect time to pick up that phone and ask the client what they think about your business plan.
If the client says they need more time, get a timeframe and a set date on when you can call back. If they sound unsure, be straight and ask how you can make it better for them.
Upgrade Your Sign Off Technology
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of enabling your client and making it easy for them to approve the sign-off and get things started. These technologies can help
Electronic Signature Software. Prospects can include their digital signature in just one to two clicks. The technology is secure and the software allows for as many fields as necessary for online proposals.
Payment Integrations. In the same manner, clients can click on the services they want and pay for it right then and there with their preferred method, i.e., bank transfer, credit card, etc. A web-based plan gives the client the ability to view the services, tick optional solutions and get to the checkout within minutes.
While it’s impossible to please every client and close every deal, it’s possible to boost your chances of approval. Hopefully these tips could help you devise an effective approach when trying to nail down a project. By pouring your best efforts on proposal creation along with a well-oiled follow up system and simplified sign off process, you’re likely to get the support and funding you need.
About the Author
Aaron Beashel is Head of Marketing at Qwilr, a tool which is reimagining the way you can communicate with your clients. Helping you make beautiful, intuitive sales and marketing documents that look impressive and integrate seamlessly with your business.