I just hung up from a phone call that resulted in a closed deal. One of those situations where the client and consultant were gushing to each other, “I can’t wait to start working with you!” That’s the best, right? Actually, it’s not only the best, it’s a requirement.
To get a signed deal your client has to feel some passion about working with you. The following five “secrets” will ensure your proposals provoke the necessary fervor.
5 Proposal Secrets that Excite Prospective Clients
Excitement is built on the belief that a desire can be satisfied. How can you know what will satisfy your client unless you spend time in advance truly understanding what they want and need?
Don’t submit a proposal before gaining agreement to your Context Document, which summarizes the client’s desires, fears and goals as well as important parameters.
Many consultants think the proposal is about themselves. Finally they get to tell the story of why they are so awesome. But the proposal isn’t about you. It’s about your client.
Signing a proposal is an emotion-laden act for clients. They’re committing themselves and putting themselves at risk. Hence, the selling story woven through your proposal is a romantic tale that woos their head and their heart. Your heartfelt murmurings are explored more in this related article: The Perfect Story to Win Consulting Projects
Clients can be insecure. When you anticipate their objections, allay their fears, and mitigate their perceived risks, you rise from a vendor to a trusted colleague they want to hire.
Thanks to your Context Discussion, you know most of the worries that are plaguing your prospect. All that’s needed is for you to explicitly address each concern in your proposal.
The more your proposal dives into detail about your approach, the more you’re drifting into boring, “it’s about me” territory. Rather than stressing your own approach and actions and special gifts, an irresistible proposal stays focused on the client’s outcome.
As a result, it’s succinct, without undue detail in the approach section. What is undue detail? Anything beyond what is needed to allay their fears.
Choices (or Alternatives)
When you offer one approach and one set of terms, you’ve got one shot at generating the necessary passion, and you receive very narrow feedback. In contrast, when you offer a few choices you multiply your opportunities to truly find out what approaches best allay their concerns, what fears are most salient, what terms and pricing are acceptable, and what fancies they most want tickled.
I can’t promise your next consulting client will start sending you perfumed love notes, but I can assure you that attending to the five areas above will excite your prospects into signing the deal.
What else do you think contributes to an irresistible consulting proposal? Share your thoughts below and I’ll respond.
You may also enjoy this related post/infographic: How to Construct a Perfect Proposal
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.