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How To Increase Your Fee with 1 Simple Question

Get this right and you can play at an extremely high level. It gives you the chance to put your prices up much higher than you could otherwise. The most important part of any quote or proposal is the introduction. Most people reading any proposal will assume that the only bits that are custom to them are the introduction and the price. It's the part that sells for you when you're not there. It's the bit that tells them you've understood exactly what they want. That said, how do you write a brilliant introduction?


There will be 1, sometimes 2 reasons they are buying your solution logically. Of course, there is still an emotional decision to be made too but that we'll come to later in the series. You need to find out what those reasons are. Are they to increase revenue, improve the perception of the brand, save money, what is it? You don't just need to be clear what it is, you need to be clear how THEY DESCRIBED IT. What words did they use and in what order. What emotions did they give off? If you asked them "Look, aside from improving the look of your website, what's the main, real reason you're making this decision?" - If they say "Look, aside from improving the look of your website, what's the main, real reason you're making this decision?" - If they say:

"Our competitors are crushing us because they can lower their prices and undercut us by miles. We need to be competitive"

That's told you a lot. It says they're worried. There's a lot of fear in that statement. They are worried about their future and they're acting while they still can. Your proposal introduction should say something like:

"The objective is to bring ABCCompany to forefront of the market for [whatever they sell]. You'll be positioned as the market leader and the obvious choice in the eyes of your potential customers. Your competition will be panic buying advertising while we carefully and systematically crush any competing companies with intelligent marketing campaigns. Lastly, the powerful technology we'll set you up with will future-proof your business and make you a force for decades to come".

In there, we've addressed their fears. You're not the company that's going to build their new website. You're the company that's going to help them crush their competition. Notice there's no mention of Wordpress, responsive design or how beautiful your code is. You're giving them what they actually want. A website is just the vehicle. If we go back 50 years, they'd still have the same problem and you'd still sell the solution in the same way. The difference being you'd be selling them signage or a TV ad or a PR campaign.

Next time you're in a meeting...

Dig deep. Find out what the real drivers are and you'll be able to write a powerful introduction which will get your proposal read like it's a love-letter from Angelina Jolie. Don't accept anything weak. "We need a new website" is not a reason. "But why do you want one". If they can't come up with a good reason then they're unlikely to spend a good amount of money on it. Good luck guys and girls.

Adam Hempenstall's profile image
Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals. He started his first web design business at 14 and has since written four books and built an international movement around sending better proposals. Having helped his customers win $500,000,000 in the last 12 months alone, he’s launched the first ever Proposal University where he shares best practices on writing and designing proposals. He co-runs a once-a-year festival called UltraMeet and is a massive FC Barcelona fan.