Tips of the Trade: Are Your Proposals Too Generic?
By Ilise Benun, marketing mentor
Would this be an accurate description of the proposals you write: “Fluff in the front and back with a tidbit about the project sandwiched in between.” If so, maybe that’s why they end up in a black hole.
You need a template, of course, for material that applies to many prospects. But the key to an effective proposal is customizing each one so that your prospects can tell that you really took time to think through their situation.
As on a Web site, the first thing they see should be all about them: what you understand their challenge to be, what your proposed solution involves and what it costs. (That might delay a bit their flipping to the back page.) From there, you can go into the stuff about you.
Also, when you outline your deliverables, write it from the client’s point of view. Focus on what they get, not what you do. So, if you’re outlining the first phase of a project, which is usually research or discovery, talk about what you need from them and what they get at the end. For example: Phase 1: Discovery. We will meet with you to brainstorm. We’ll ask you for demographics about your market. We’ll interview your clients. We’ll gather info based on the direction you give us. Your deliverable: a written report presented in person.
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