Do you send out proposals to clients? One study says I probably should, as it found that people who send proposals within 24 hours of a discussion increase the chances of winning the project or client by up to 20%. And who wouldn’t want to increase their conversion rate? I know I would.
Proposals can be useful when pricing out large-scale projects, but they can also help you win more business with B2B clients because it’s an easier sell to upper management. In fact, they’re so used to seeing proposals, quotes, and estimates that they’re more likely to sign on the dotted line if you send one for your next B2B copywriting project.
Let’s take a closer look at why proposals are useful to freelance writers and how you can create proposals that convert.
Why Proposals Are a Useful Strategy
Developing a proposal can help you get to the heart of what your prospective client really wants help with. For example, they may ask for SEO copywriting to get more web traffic but only need to improve their website’s loading speed to keep people on the site. Or they may want to redo all the copy on the website because they’re trying to sell their business.
You want to include these deep reasons in your proposal so they will sign on the dotted line. When you target their true pain point in the proposal, you’ll prove you know your value to their business and give them a bigger reason to say yes.
Five Ways to Create Proposals That Convert
1. Create a Proposal Template
A proposal template reduces the amount of time it takes you to send that new proposal to a prospect, so you can catch them when they’re still basking in the glow of your conversation. And if you have a proposal template that’s 80%-90% filled out, you’ll save even more time and increase the chances of prospects saying yes.
Proposal software applications like Better Proposals or Proposify make it easy to create one, we’ve got a proposal template for you as part of our B2B Roadmaps for Success, or you can create a template you re-use in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Use whatever you’re comfortable with, and be sure to include the following standard sections:
- An introduction
- Detailed project information or specifications
- Next steps
- Terms and conditions
2. Have Standard Questions
When talking to a prospect, do you have a set of questions you ask them? Or do you wing it every time? Having a set of questions or a list of the information you need before starting a project makes it easier to create a proposal. You’ll already have the information you need. Ed Gandia talks about the seven questions he asks every prospect, but you can create your own list that matches your business.
These standard questions will make it easier to fill out the proposal because you can align it to your questions or vice versa. You’ll always know what information you’ll get in the initial conversation, so you can fill out the proposal faster.
3. Write the Introduction Right After the Meeting
The introduction is the most important part of the proposal since most people will read this and then jump right to the pricing. Your introduction has to hook your prospect and make them feel they MUST work with you and only you for this project. It’s all about making them feel good about working with you.
By writing the introduction right after your meeting, everything is fresh in your mind. You may still be buzzing from their excitement about the project and what they hope to get out of it. Translate that excitement into your writing to appeal to them emotionally, and you’re halfway to a signature.
4. Write a Detailed Project Work Section
This section explains how you plan to solve the prospect’s problem. In it, you’ll go over how you’ll help them, what you’ll write, and what the goal for the project will be (more leads, sales, web traffic, etc.). This is where you show the prospect you know what you’re doing and that you’ve handled similar projects before.
Be sure to speak in your prospect’s language, so the proposal resonates with them at a subconscious level. Don’t use unnecessary jargon they won’t understand. Remember, your goal is to persuade, not confuse people.
5. Include a Timeline
The final section of your proposal is the timeline. You might’ve talked about this in your conversation, so it’s essential to include it here as well. Tell the client how long it should take you to complete and when they can expect it from you. Don’t forget to include any dependencies here, such as resources the clients must send you before you can start work.
These are just some of the tips you can use to create better-converting proposals for your clients. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.