Being a business owner means that you have to be out shaking hands, knocking on doors and making phone calls. Once you get your foot in the door, what can you do to make certain you and the proposal you submit will be winners? Here are my tips to winning a proposal and they can be used in any industry:

  1. Clearly understand your client’s needs. Remember you need to address and fix their unique pain points, not shoehorn them into the solution you provide. It needs to be a synergistic fit.
  2. Ask whether the potential client has a budget under which he is operating. If you put together a proposal based on his or her unique needs only to find out that they cannot afford the solution you’re offering, you’ve been spinning your wheels. Ask for a budget to see if you can work within it.
  3. Have a proposal template. This makes it easy for you to plug and play when you’re meeting with a client. Don’t reinvent the wheel with each client meeting.
  4. List all of the deliverables in the proposal so your client knows exactly what he or she will be receiving. You will also want to list what they need to get to you in order for you to move forward with a relationship.
  5. Be clear on fees and payment schedules. Don’t leave this vague because that could lead to misunderstandings down the road.
  6. Put together a PowerPoint presentation as a way to visually enhance the proposal and to help your client thoroughly understand how he can benefit from working with you. Remember, keep your presentation short and sweet — you’re there to make a connection, not have them watch a long dissertation.

Do you have success stories with your proposal presentations? What is your best practice tip?

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