How to Develop a Project Proposal that Impresses Clients
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to develop an effective project proposal template in a fraction of time and increase your close rate with it.
What should be done before writing a proposal?
Qualify your prospect.
It’s easy to fall for the mistake of chasing each lead that comes your way as you aim to expand your business. But remember all prospects are not created equal.
And only after qualifying your potential lead, you’ll know whether it’s worth spending your time and energy on the process of proposal writing.
3-step process for qualifying your prospect
By asking questions.
Questions help you seek the right information from the client. Divide your questions into 3 categories
- Ask questions to understand their profile
- How much they score in your ideal client profile?
- What kind of business are they running?
- How large is their organization?
- Do they match your ideal client geographical location?
- Which tools/services have they used in the past to solve the challenges they are currently facing?
- Ask questions to understand customer needs
- What they need and what results they are expecting to get?
- How those results are going to affect their goals, their team, and their business?
- Ask questions to get an idea about their decision-makers
- How do they make buying decisions?
- How many people are involved in their decision-making process?
- How does their typical buying process look like?
- How long do they usually take to buy any particular service/product?
Explore the benefits of using a project proposal template.
Project Proposal Outline Breakdown
All project proposals should include certain details in order to be clear and effective (Follow this checklist that’ll help you develop the right project proposal template). Even though the exact format of project proposals varies depending on the company and the project, the typical sections you should include in your proposal are these:
1. Cover Page
You only get one chance to make a first impression and the cover page of your proposal is your only chance. A cover page of your project proposal template should look neat and should be easy to read. A good cover page typically includes,
- Name of applying organization and logo
- Project title
- Contact Information (personal contact name, address, country, phone, email, website)
- Name of the client you are applying to
2. Cover Letter
The cover letter in your project proposal sets the tone for the rest. The best tip for writing your project proposal‘s pitch is using your prospective client’s words to them. This means simply describe the problem they are facing. Your cover letter should include,
- Opening paragraph
- Reason for the pitch
- Showing you understand the problem
- Baseline metrics ( before and after)
3. Scope of Services
This section should include the details about your approach. Providing too many details is common mistake proposal writers make when developing a project proposal.
- The key here is to give a rough sketch of the method you will use for the execution.
- Include the list of the specific project services that are being offered.
- You should be ultra-careful about not going into detail.
4. Implementation Timeline
You must break down all the key steps and the timeline for your client in your business proposal template. Providing an accurate timeline with deliverables allows you to set the client’s expectations early.
- List of activities to perform
- The dates on which the activities should be completed (start and end time)
- Expected duration required for each task
5. Your Investment
Keep things short and to the point and use a pricing table with a range of options that let your prospect or customer edit the quantities, select the services that best fit their needs, and allow them to customize your solution.
- Standard package (includes all the services mentioned)
- Less expensive package (where a client can choose the services)
- Deluxe package (with extra services)
6. Why Work With Us
You can fill out this section with the expertise you have, the awards you won, the big list of your happy clients.
- Name, faces, and credentials of the people who will be working on the campaign
- Client benefits
7. Case Study/Testimonials
In this section, you can make your clients visualize themselves working with you by telling the past clients success stories with similar issues.
- Project goal
8. Terms of Services
9. Next Steps
It is where you need to explain in-depth what you want your client to do next to get things rolling. You can include something like,
- Sign the proposal (digitally with e-signature)
- The initial amount to be payable while signing the contract
- Schedule the next meeting call to discuss further steps.
Bonus: Make your project proposal visually appealing
A messy and unattractive business proposal can be a real turn-off to your prospective clients. It sends a message that you didn’t care enough to make your proposal look good. So, make sure you include the following elements in your project proposal,
Table of Contents
- It is sometimes overlooked but is still a major part of a proposal design.
- All project proposals must include a table of contents as it gives readers a route map to go directly to a particular section.
- Visuals such as maps, graphs, infographics, screenshots, and photos complement your business proposal to another level.
- You can also include the video testimonials of your other happy clients.
If you follow the process and the format above, you won’t face any challenges and you’ll find yourself writing a successful project proposal template, the one that pulls together all the required information concisely and helps the prospect to make an informed buying decision.