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I’ve just done a late night review of a client’s proposal and came up with this quick checklist to help them out. So I thought others might benefit from this too. 17 quick strategies to check to make your proposals get over the line.

These are not the only factors to consider when preparing a proposal but some major points to consider:

  • Make it about the client first up – their objectives and how you’re meeting them
  • Refer to discussions you’ve had
  • Make it personal and direct to the person you are submitting to (it’s harder to say ‘no’ to a person you have a relationship with)
  • Focus on clarity – what do they want to achieve and how will you achieve it
  • Make sure you show the value in what you do – they wont see it unless you demonstrate it
  • Be clear about what you are going to do
  • What’s the impact that they should expect?
  • Make sure they have something that tells why they should work with you over the competitor
  • Be clear on the standards and quality they should expect (enables their value evaluation)
  • Be clear where the money is going (not just a flat bottom line)
  • Ask yourself if I were the client – would I find this compelling
  • Back up your argument with support such as case studies, results, proof
  • Include testimonials
  • Include a next action so they know what’s next
  • Ensure that the proposal allows room for discussion, choices and collaboration on solutions
  • Make a recommendation
  • Have somewhere for them to sign and agree to the proposal
  • If there was an over-riding principle it would be ‘make it about the client’ – so your mindset will be that the client knows nothing about you and has no idea of the value you present in the proposal. This changes how you present and the clarity you bring to each of your solutions.
  • You need to show the client how to think about you.
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