Proposal Breakdown: One Mistake is All It Takes

Written by Adam Hempenstall

One tiny thing that can plant a seed of doubt in your client’s mind

It’s easily done and far too common but you always need to prove why you’re the right choice. Every single time.

Proposal Format

urTeam are Better Proposals customers so they’ve used Better Proposals to send a professional proposal to their client.

Cover

This could be improved very easily. I’d use a background image that either complimented the client so it got points for being relevant or at least don’t use one that has colours that clash with the logo. Simple is best here.

Another thing to note is always make sure you are putting who the proposal is for on the cover. It doesn’t really matter if you put just the company name or the person too but it’s such a simple way of letting them know you wrote it for them. It really personalises the whole thing.

Introduction

I love what they’ve done here. They’ve designed it like a letter with an image version of the signature at the bottom. It’s really smart. It could do with getting to the point of what their potential customer will gain once they buy from them. Be it new leads, new customers, higher conversion rate etc.

Remember, no-one wants a new website. They want what a new website gives them. You can agree that a new site is the way to go but you still need to remind them why they made that decision. The first page of content on your proposal is about the only page other than the price that gets read properly. This is the time and place to hit them with that value proposition.

Specification

This is class. They’re a web design company which naturally means the specification is going to be full of jargon. Not with these guys. They’ve done the classic “which means that” technique which is where you put your jargon item, then put ‘which means that’ then answer the question.

Example:

“We use wordpress” > “which means that” > “Your website will be built on the world’s most supported website platform. Over 30% of the internet is built this way and is the safest way to build a website in this day and age. If you have a problem, just Google it and you’ll get instant answers”.

The Journey

This is really good. It explains the journey their client will go through which is reinforcing that it’s not complicated, just sit back and relax. It’s just very text heavy.

It might be worth splitting this up so you have a nice image showing a nice simple 3 or 5 step process that the client can experience. Under that you could put ‘Behind the scenes’ then detail all the things you do to make sure the project runs on time. The benefit of doing this is they can read it if they want but if not they’ve got the basics with your nicely designed, colourful picture.

Key Items Missing

No case studies at all. Not a single testimonial or screenshot of any work they’ve done. One quick look at their website shows you that’s certainly not the case so this really should be addressed.

Breakdown and Costing

Only point here is to use the word Investment instead of costing. A cost implies spending without a return which I’m pretty sure isn’t the case here.

Next Steps & Contract

This is very good because the contract is very short. I’d recommend getting a proper contract sorted and move it onto its own page then remove the contract from the ‘Approve Proposal’ page.

Conclusion

There are some really nice bits in there. The letter is lovely. The spec is brilliant. The journey is excellent too. Just a glaring omission of case studies. The only other thing I’d add here is there’s no imagery. Adding imagery is a really good way of breaking up text and making proposals more interesting. Very good proposal.

If you’d like one of your proposals reviewed that didn’t win the job then send it through to adam [at] betterproposals [dot eye oh] and we’ll get it in the queue.

Don’t worry, if you want anything hidden like company names or costs, just let us know 🙂

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