Today here on Hassle-Free Websites, we will pick apart ideas on how you can write proposals that are not just creative but on-point.
Our host, Justin Meadows, will guide you through easy and simple steps that will inspire you to write that killer, high-conversion-rate proposal.
In the video:
- 00:46 – Focus on the broad ideas, not the technical details.
01:18 – Understand the business needs of your client by asking the right questions.
02:06 – SPIN Selling
02:49 – Sections to include in the proposal.
06:35 – Create a template for future use.
1. Avoid technical details
It’s a trap most people who write proposals fall into. In their eagerness to show clients the things they are going to do and how they are going to solve their client’s problems, they include all those technical, jargon-filled details into the proposal.Speak in plain English. Click To Tweet
That’s a big mistake. Those technical details are best covered in a brief which you will submit to the client only after they have paid the deposit. The cost of creating this brief should be included in the overall cost of the project.
What the proposal should cover are the broad strokes when it comes to deliverables: identifying the client’s needs and repeating it back to them in their language to show you understand what they want to happen.
2. Understand what your client needs
Before you even start thinking of writing the proposal and what to charge them, first you have to think: what does my client really need?
Take the time to talk to your clients to uncover the answer. Ask them the right questions. Think of yourself as a doctor. Doctors ask their patients if they are feeling any pain in their bodies, when it started and other questions. All these will help him find out the true affliction of the patient.Ask the right questions. Click To Tweet
It’s the same thing when talking with clients. Ask them what they think is the problem. Probe deeper by follow it up with other questions that will help you get into the heart of the matter. Only in finding the right “diagnosis” will you be able to accurately prescribe an appropriate solution for them.
3. Follow the SPIN Selling Framework
A great framework for this kind of selling is called SPIN (Situation-Problem-Implication-Need). It helps land projects by assessing the current situation of the client, the problems they are experiencing in their current situation, the consequences of those problems to their business in the long term and the solution they need to solve the problem.
Let’s put it in a different way. You are not just selling your client a website; you are selling them a solution. You are helping them move from their current situation into a better situation.Don’t sell a website. Sell a solution. Click To Tweet
Check out the book by Neil Rackham to know more about it.
4. Sections To Include In Your Proposal
Now that we’ve discussed the overall substance that makes a great proposal, let’s complete its effectiveness by including these sections in it:
Overview – This is the most read section of the proposal aside from the price, so make sure you get it right. Skim over the current situation of the client, the problems they are facing and the implications of these problems.
Then, accurately describe in broad terms the solution you are offering them. Write it in the same language the client used during your interview so they’ll feel the overview is directly speaking to them.
Process – The process is the organized action plan or workflow of the project. It explains to the client the outline plan of the work involved, what things they can expect from you, what you expect from them. Basically, it is your opportunity to explain to the client how things are going to work and how you need them to work with you.
Timeline – Don’t set hard deadlines when writing the timeline. Instead, enumerate each step or phase of the project. Then, indicate what is expected of you and the client for each phase before going through the broad timeframe of how long it will take to finish each phase. Briefly explain that if any of the steps are delayed, then the whole project will also be delayed.
Scope – This section talks about what you will do for your client. Cover only the chunks of what they will be getting in broad terms.
Features and Benefits – It’s always a good idea to balance features with benefits your client will get from it. For this section, it’s best to create a template for the features and the corresponding benefits you provide for clients all the time. Then, simply add or remove a feature / benefit so that it’s applicable for a particular client.
Case Studies – Case studies will demonstrate how you have helped past clients in a similar situation solve their problems and achieve their business goals.
FAQs – The FAQ section will cover other questions and details your client might be interested to know.
Investment/Pricing – After reading the overview, clients typically skip to the price section to find out how much your service will cost. List down the things you will do to meet their needs and fix each of their problems before adding how much it will cost. This way, the things included in your price are clearly defined.
Getting Started – Make sure to clearly state in simple terms what they need to do next to get started on the project. Also make sure that that step is as easy as possible for them to do. Place the Getting Started section directly under the pricing section.
Legal Terms And Conditions – Payment, delivery terms and legal conditions of your proposal are defined under this section. Keep it short but to the point so it’s easy to read. Otherwise, the client will need more time to go through it properly and ultimately delay the agreement.
5. Other Actionable Tips
When interviewing your client, it’s useful to record your interview so you can play it back to yourself later while you are writing the proposal.
After writing the proposal, create a template so you don’t have to write the whole thing every single time. Simply edit the proposal to make it relevant for the particular client you are working with.
Some great places to find some proposal templates to get you started are BetterProposals.io and WP Elevation