As an entrepreneur, you are in the business of getting clients to say “yes”. I know how frustrating it can be to spend time writing a proposal only for a lead to ‘ghost’ after receiving it. However, after making a few simple changes, my proposal acceptance rate skyrocketed. Notably, it wasn’t down to how I wrote my proposals but what I did before and after sending them off.
Know your client and their industry
Top entrepreneurs care deeply about their clients. Trust me; clients can tell whether you care or not. Therefore, before sending a proposal, you should take the time to understand your client’s business and their industry. You can then feed this back to the client in an email or meeting. This sets your business relationship off on the right foot. Most service providers only care about how much money they stand to make. I call them ‘hit and run’ entrepreneurs. You will make a lot more money by building mutually beneficial relationships.
Use simple language
Remember this; your client expects a return on their investment. Your proposal needs to suggest that you are the best person to deliver results. However, if you fill your proposal with technical jargon, they are likely to get confused. Statements which focus on benefits as opposed to features are more convincing. For instance, instead of stating the technical parts of creating a website, showcase how it will help them to get more traffic and sales. If an 8-year-old can understand your proposal, you are on the right path. Hemingway is a free web-based app for checking the reading level of your proposal.
Visuals are powerful
There is a differencing between telling someone how you are going to achieve something and showing them. According to research by Pandadoc, photos and visuals increase the likelihood of closing by 32%. That is huge! What would 32% more customers mean for your business?
It is worth investing in video creation or graphic design. You could include video testimonials, data on past results, and so forth. Plus, visuals help to break up the text and keep your proposals interesting. Visuals can also be used to show the work you plan on doing for a client. For instance, you could take some time creating a screen capture video explaining what you plan on doing, and the results your client can expect.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. For instance, after launching a new service, my proposal acceptance rate dropped from 40% to 10%. However, I didn’t know why. But by switching to a system like Qwilr, it enabled me to set up beautiful, branded proposals and get data about how leads interact with my proposals. I found that most of them spent a few minutes on the proposal and then closed the page. I used this information to change my pricing structure, and my conversion rate shot up to the 55% mark.
Tools like those can also help when it comes to following up as well. I can look at the data and know which section a client might have caused an issue. As a result, I can break down their objections and get the sale.
Choosing the right service provider can be daunting for clients. They don’t want to waste their money and time on the wrong provider. Plus, choosing the wrong one could harm their reputation. The more you put their minds at rest, the better. Therefore, what I like to do after writing my proposal is to go through and predict questions. This enables me to improve it before sending to the client.
The clearer you propose, the easier it would be to get the sale. For instance, instead of having the rate section as a one-liner such as “Web design- $10,000” break it down. Show how long you will spend on research, estimated costs of hiring freelancers, and so forth. Make it clear what is included. This shows the skill and effort required to deliver a project. Plus, it also helps to avoid disputes down the road because everyone knows what to expect.
The way you follow up makes a big difference. Instead of sending an email, pick up the phone. You can tell a lot about why a potential client has objections from heir tone of voice. Plus, you are likely to get a quicker response.
Some clients need some prompting before taking the next step. Plus, some clients are really busy. Your proposal could become jumbled up in their other emails and get forgotten about. Therefore, wait seven days and if you don’t get a response to ask whether they need clarity on any part of the proposal. It is worth adding a result you got from a client to the follow-up message.
In conclusion, there are little things you can add to your sales system to get more proposals approved. It is vital that you don’t give up. Don’t take rejection personally. Get back out there, generate more leads and close more business.