Get Prospects to Pony Up for Your Proposal

Get Prospects to Pony Up for Your Proposal

November 23, 2015 | By Pam Foster | No Comments

Get Prospects to Pony Up for Your Proposal Hi there! I’m Pam Foster, with your Site Audit Roadmap to Success.

I have a confession to make.

When I started out as a freelance web copywriter, I used to spend a couple of hours — maybe even more — preparing thoughtful, professional proposals for new projects. I was anxious to put my best foot forward and win over new prospects, getting them excited about working with me.

So with each prospect, I’d have an initial conversation for about a half an hour, asking about their needs and why they called me. We’d take a look at their website together while on the phone, and I’d point out some items I could improve with my copywriting skills.

Then, the prospect would ask me to prepare a proposal, outlining what needed to be fixed … and what it would take to fix it, including costs.

I’d say, “Sure! Let me get back to you within a couple of days with a custom proposal.” We’d hang up the phone and I’d jump into the next steps.

  • I’d look around the prospect’s website from the perspective of the prospect’s goals, target audience, products/services, and business purpose (what the prospect wanted visitors to do, such as download a report or watch a demo video).
  • I’d make notes on the current content, with particular attention to the message clarity, value message, calls-to-action, search-engine keyword use, etcetera. I’d also make note of what was missing from the content to get visitors to make a purchase or other desired action.
  • In addition, I’d take a quick look at Google searches to find a few sites from the prospect’s competition so I could identify opportunities for the prospect to set his company apart from the rest.
  • Sometimes I’d even do a little keyword research to identify search opportunities.
  • Finally, I’d prepare a 2-3-page proposal/agreement document that spelled out my initial findings, how I’d fix them, and what it would cost.

I presented this wonderful proposal to the prospect, fully expecting them to love it and hire me. But sometimes, it turned out that they didn’t have the budget to hire me.

What? Whoa — that’s a lot of work (and wasted time) for prospects that aren’t serious about hiring a professional web copywriter. Yuck.

Have you done this too? Have you spent a few hours preparing a great proposal, just to be turned down?

If you’ve been disappointed like this, after all your efforts, I have exciting news for you.

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This article was first published by The Professional Writers’ Alliance.

About the Author


Pam Foster

Pam Foster is a working B2B copywriter who has been writing corporate communications/marketing materials for 30+ years. This includes just about every type of B2B marketing copy you can think of — from sell sheets and trade show booth materials to articles, websites, blog posts, case studies, video scripts, and much more. Now, Pam works for a global veterinary association (all B2B), which means she definitely has the inside scoop on how to work with B2B clients.

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