The sections of a successful proposal

Have you realized that all your proposals are written following not only some guidelines but also the exact structure?

We give you a few seconds to think about it 🤔

If you define your proposal parts correctly, you’ll be addressing three key issues:

  1. You’ll save time creating your proposals.
  2. Using that structure will help you to close more deals
  3. You’ll improve relationship with your clients in the long term.

If you use the same structure in your proposals, your clients will benefit from that as they will know the actual part of it is the most interesting to them and will accelerate approval workflow.

Let’s move on.

Before going ahead, some recommendations

Yes, as always, you need to grab a pen and a piece of paper (or your most loved notes app) to review your activity before even try to decide which parts you will be including in your proposal.

Recall your first meeting with your client-to-be (or prospect). This first meeting allowed you to gather some information that you wouldn’t get in any other way. E.g. it is possible that person you meet with will be reading your proposal once you send it. Or not. So this is important information you need to address in your proposal. Find out with was important to them and, if your prospect tells you some solutions they are using, start with that.

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If you explain this in your proposal, it can be a key point to win that contract.

Also, it is important to use some persuasive techniques to get all your client’s attention. But, remember, persuasion is not cheating. If you want to convince your client that you are the best, you will negotiate and show yourself as the best option possible to achieve the goals.

Remember that writing proposals needs some storytelling to be involved: tell a story, the story of yourself solving your client issues.

Persuasive techniques to get your client attention

We love reviewing the classics. And we will go for them this time again as we encourage you to use Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion:

  • Ethos: use empathetic argumentions on your exposition. But not only pretend to be honest. You have to actually be honest.
  • Pathos: these argumentations will show your client’s pain points.
  • Logos: use logic. No more, no less.

If you want some more information, we recommend you to take a look at this article.

Key sections of your templates

Think global and create your pattern so it can be re-used at any time and for any client.

Remember: as a pattern, you don’t need to follow the structure each and every time, as you can have different proposal structures depending on the services or the clients. However, we found out that this is the best structure recurring clients as they know what they can expect from us and find what they need.

This is our proposal structure with the sections we use to send out proposals to our clients:

  • Introduction.
    Every proposal needs a starting point to introduce your proposal and how you will address your client solution.
  • The issue.
    In this section, show what you know about your client, their activity and some if the most common issues of competition on that area.
  • Your solution.
    Take your time to let your client know what you will do. Explain how beneficial is your solution and how this will affect to your client’s business in the future. Show yourself as the best option but avoid using some corporate empty language.
  • Quotation.
    Of course, your services need some money in return.
  • Implementation schedule.
    If your proposal involves time and resources, add a section explaining deliverables and when to expect them. This will help not only you or your team to know when all those resources should be allocated, but also help your client to know when to expect some results.
  • Who you are.
    Your experience. Your team. Show the reasons that make you the best option to address your client issues. And, of course, be empathetic: use your most related experience to show your work.
  • Terms and conditions.
    Even if you have an actual contract that you sign together with your client, we recommend you adding some terms and conditions about starting to work or to make clear what is included in your proposal or what is not.

It seems simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is, but it takes some time ti find the perfect structure. And sometimes you don’t need it as a whole to send proposals to your clients. Or maybe your business doesn’t need it.

Which structure/s are you using in your proposals?

Now that you got our advice, maybe you realize that you were using that. Or not.
How do you save time on proposal creation? Are you using any other structure for your proposals?

Let us know how you create your proposals!