Episode 47 – Proposal Templates

“The proposal is the last impression your potential customers get of your business – make it a good one.”

On today’s Coachcast we talk about building a winning proposal template for your proposals.

Presenting your customers with a winning proposal is an important part of the sales cycle.  This is your chance to show them why they should choose you versus your competition.  It is your time to shine and make them want you.

It’s hard work putting together a detailed proposal for each project we chase after.  By developing a good template upfront we can save that time and still provide a winning proposal.

We want to use our proposal to continue to build the trust of our customers and further our relationship with them.  This is a time to reflect on the knowledge you gained when talking with them and show them that you understand their needs and concerns and can address them.

When you start building the template you need to look at how it will be delivered.  In today’s times with everyone wanting things fast and easy the most effective way to deliver your proposal is in an electronic format.  While this will work for many you still need to be considerate of what your clients prefer, some people will still want a paper proposal so be sure that your template can also be printed easily.

Your proposal should contain the following parts:

  • introduction
  • Proposal
  • Attachments

The introduction is the part where you explain why you are the right person for the project.  Use this part to tell them that you understand them and their concerns and how you will address them.  You also want to show some experience that is specific to their project to show you have the knowledge and understanding.  You can close this section out with some bullet points about you that sets you apart from your competition like insurance coverage, on-time delivery, quality or anything else you feel is important to your client.

[tweetthis]The proposal is the last impression your potential customers get of your business – make it a good one.[/tweetthis]

In the proposal section you want to give them a summary scope of the project.  Talk about the finished product and what it means to them.  For example, if you are remodeling a kitchen then talk about modernizing the kitchen with some highlights like granite counter tops, stainless appliances, and efficient layout.  This is where you want to give them a vision of the finished product and show that you know what they want.  Be sure to include some pictures and sketches in this section so they can visualize the work.  After giving them the summary of what you will do you need to include a brief schedule showing some of the key milestones.  Follow the schedule up with your price proposal.  Include the general terms like down-payment, etc. and also any add-ons you may want to offer.

Following the intro and proposal sections you want to add your attachments.  The attachments should be some past project information that is specific to the current project, your detailed scope of work, sample warranty form and sample contract.  This will give them a complete package of all they need to know about doing business with you.  You can include a short memo telling them next steps for accepting and what to expect after they sign the contract.

This outline will give your proposals a leg up over the competition and make you the preferred vendor.

[important]Quick Tip: At some point explain to your customer that you will be providing a detailed scope of work and they should feel free to share that with all the bidders to make sure everyone is bidding the same thing.  Advise them to also include that scope in another contractor’s contract if they choose to select someone else.[/important]

I realize this is a lot of work to do for each proposal but by setting up a good template you will save a lot of time and effort when creating proposals.  If set up properly, each time you create a new proposal you are just editing the first couple of pages, changing the past project information and updating the detailed scope of work.

You have spent a considerable amount of time bringing in the lead, meeting with the customer and preparing an estimate, don’t come up short on the proposal.

Take-Action Item:

  1. Start developing your proposal template
    1. You can start small by working on a different section each proposal
    2. After several proposals you will have a great template
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