A proposal aims to get new customers and to reconnect with the existing ones.
Think about all the things you mention in a sales pitch. The idea here is to go super-specific with how you can help your prospects grow.
Let’s analyze the four different types of business proposals that often get rejected.
Types Of Business Proposals
Solicited Business Proposals
The proposals are sent after the potential client agrees to review the terms. These proposals are demanded by the clients and include to-the-point information. They are generally sent after a meeting with someone belonging to the company.
Unsolicited Business Proposals
Contacting the potential client for the first time with no prior communication whatsoever.
These are proposals sent to prospects who might be willing to avail of your services. While writing these proposals, one must go into who they are and how they can help.
While drafting your email, make sure you use the right copywriting methods.
If not, you will have a bad impression and thus, leading to fewer conversions.
Here are some of the top proposal mistakes that you should avoid at all cost:
Proposals Involving No Prior Research
Take a look at this rejection letter.
Did you notice why it got rejected?
This proposal got rejected because the offering didn’t align with the prospect’s plans.
Knowing about your clients’ requirements is crucial to put forward an offer that gets accepted.
Lack of understanding will lead to you proposing something they don’t need.
It’s essential to conduct in-depth research of the company that you are targeting to improve your chances of landing clients.
A great way to expect an affirmative response is to understand their goals and problems..
By the way, did you know a generalized proposal email (cold) could be one of the reasons why your email goes to spam among other reasons?
Use Social Media For Collecting Information
Collecting information is more accessible, with social media being a highly active place for businesses.
Go through their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
You’ll get all relevant updates and insights by researching through their social handles.
Try to get the entire understanding of their functioning and use them as hooks throughout your proposal (to keep them interested).
You need an ample amount of information about your prospects to drive heavy conversions.
A great way to generate more sales would be to highly personalize your email funnels using conversion marketing.
Scheduling A One-On-One Meeting For Gathering Information
Don’t feel demotivated if you fail to find the relevant information and the needs of your dream client.
You can get those answers through a one-on-one meeting.
Prepare a series of questions to help you create a solid proposal.
This approach will always work better than the guessing game (assumptions).
The One-On-One approach is similar to the consultative selling approach wherein you ask your prospects to mention exactly what they want by asking a series of questions.
Let’s take a look at this solicited proposal.
I know, right?
This proposal effectively solves the problem of the potential client with the focus remaining intact on them.
You need to mention how you are the solution to their problem. Don’t forget, people have choices. A great way would be to show your USP (unique selling proposition) along with some testimonials.
Research Determines The Tone Of Business Proposal
Take a look at the below-mentioned questions.
- What’s the tone of your proposal email?
- Does it sound too formal, or do you prefer using a friendly tone?
- At what level is a particular client standing?
- Do you explain the very basics of the proposal?
- Do you target the points you know they need to make a sale?
Answering these questions will help you with understanding more about your dream clients.
Conducting surveys is the best way to collect information about your ideal clients.
From surveys to social media, use all possible ways to collect your ideal clients’ information.
Your entire proposal depends on the information you obtain.
These answers will help you to write a proposal that 100% converts.
Don’t forget to keep a tab on your proposals.
Keeping tabs on your proposal emails will help you effectively send follow-up emails.
Proposals Not Using The Identified Pain Points
No one would be interested in a proposal that doesn’t focus on pain points.
For solicited proposals, you have already discussed the problems faced by the company.
During these discussions, you might come across difficulties the company isn’t aware of.
When you address these severe problems in your proposal, they are likely to pay attention.
Psychological hack: Tell them about the short-term and long-term effects of not resolving those pain points.
Keep it short if you are targeting something that they are already working on. Because if they are already aware of it, all they expect from you is a well-laid solution.
Humor is a great way to get a response from your unsolicited proposals.
You can use humor in your follow-up emails.
Here are a few work-related memes you and WFH memes can use to get started.
Note: Don’t go too far with humor. Less witty is always appreciated.
A great way is to get more responses from your prospects is by adding a few explainer videos in your emails.
When you already have solved similar problems for your clients in the past, adding a few explainer videos along with some testimonials always helps.
Pro tip: While writing a business proposal, don’t forget to use simple and understandable language. Using highly technical words might break the deal.
Letting The Cost Scare Off Your Dream Clients
Your products and services can be outstanding, but your pricing will lead to the closing of the deal.
Take a look at this rejection letter stating how the administrative fee became a significant issue.
Does that mean you should charge less fee despite the excellent services you provide? Hell no!
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to put forward the sum amount in your proposal.
A well-written proposal always breaks down the process into different parts. These parts are then assigned pricing.
This value is backed up by the assured results your company aims at providing.
Your target is to convince your potential clients that investing in you will lead to assured output that you promised your proposal.
Break Down The Costs: Required And Optional
Your prospects should feel like they are saving money by investing in your business.
To make that happen, break down the cost into required and optional.
By not selecting the optional price, they get the idea that your services are cost-effective for them.
As said earlier, you must research your ideal clients before sending a business proposal.
If you are sending out cold proposals, make sure to have an appropriate cost breakdown.
No Call-To-Action By The End Of The Business Proposal
You want your prospects to take any action at the end of the proposal.
An unclear CTA (Call-To-Action) will ruin your efforts. Sometimes things might be obvious for you, but the readers might need more clarity.
Whatever your CTA might be, it should lead to continued communication. You can try ending it with a question to ensure the reader gets back to you or your calendar to schedule a meeting with you.
Or you can suggest a date and timing for further discussion. Your goal here is to make the person reply to the proposal you spent hours of research on.
Notice how this email proposal cleverly added a CTA by the end.
Your goal is to do the same at the end of your email.
Drafting The Proposal: Solicited Or Unsolicited?
Details are crucial when you are contacting your potential client for the first time.
But there is no point in stretching the proposal if they already know about your business.
For solicited proposals, it’s crucial to keep them short and to the point.
On the flip side, unsolicited proposals must be detailed.
To save your time and effort, you can use software like Prospero to create your professional proposals 3X faster.
Before you start jotting down ideas for your proposal, go through this structural breakdown required to be in every epic business proposal.
While writing solicited business proposals, start with what you’ve discussed in the previous meeting.
Mention it in the beginning and move forward to the details of your proposal.
In the first contact, the proposals must have a captivating introduction.
Pro tip: Talk about the results they’ll get if they decide to work with you.
You can also give your clients a brief idea about your proposal in the introduction.
Throughout both types of proposals, one thing that remains the same is mentioning the value you provide to your ideal clients.
Targeting The Problems/Pain Points
Targeting the pain points is one of the best ways to capture their attention.
Arise their interest in understanding how your business can help them solve a big problem (make sure it’s detailed).
Putting Forward The Solution
The solution you provide must mention concrete results they will achieve by the end.
Do the math and come up with short-term and long-term solutions you aim at providing.
They must be receiving many different proposals throughout the week.
Give them a reason to pick you up by mentioning what makes your proposal unique (sell your USP).
This could include a particular set of skills or resources for the proposed idea. Adding a personal experience of qualification might help you lead.
Set Up A Meeting By The End
By the end of the email proposal, you must ask them to set up a meeting with you.
Bonus: Here are a few of the best email closings you can use to kill your sales game.
Even when you send a solicited proposal, set up a meeting to discuss the project in detail; feel free to add a few attachments to strengthen your proposal.
Take a look at this introductory paragraph in the unsolicited business proposal.
The sender has introduced himself along with giving a brief of what he does. This proposal also shows you how the company plans to achieve the set target.
One thing that strengthens this proposal is the inclusion of time frames.
The 3 phases of 3 months each and evaluation at the end of 9 months.
It depicts the seriousness of the plan and convinces the client to give him a shot.
Draft a business proposal email that targets the pain points and offers a well-laid solution.
You can use Prospero to get started and strengthen your game. 💪🏻
Don’t forget. Conducting proper research will lead to a positive response.
Dhruv Maheshwari is a SaaS Content Marketer who helps brands get quality leads by designing a winning content strategy and creating outstanding content pieces. In his free time, he is chiseling his fitness goals and traveling around the world.