Simplify your offer
Keep in mind that your client won’t have the same amount of technical knowledge as you do. This is why they might be confused by different package deals you present to them. They shouldn’t be the ones choosing between different features, deciding whether they need maintenance and such.
You’re the one who knows their needs and the goals they want to achieve, so you have to be the one making the decisions. We suggest keeping your pricing section short and easy to understand.
Upsells and cross-sells may seem like a good idea but practice shows that having a single offer is the best way to get more conversions. The research by Better Proposal that analyzed over $1.4 million of closed deals proves that the best option for your pricing section is presenting one choice without upsells or packages.
According to the data, proposals with a single offer work better. If you have just one choice without upsells or packages, your sale will be 16.3% higher. Additionally, your sale will be 28.5% higher with monthly fees.
Think of it as a doctor’s advice: Doctors don’t ask the patient which medication to prescribe. They rely on their own expertise.
Keep your proposals web-based
Sending proposals in emails as PDF and Word attachments is a thing of the past. There just aren’t any benefits to doing this. They are hard to share, can get lost in the shuffle, and you won’t even know if they were opened. PDFs can also negatively impact deliverability since they may be marked as spam by mail providers. Instead, send web-based proposals clients can open like pages in their browser.
Proposal software usually offers a vast library of proposal templates that can easily be customized to your needs. If you have an old outline you like to use, you can easily digitize it with any proposal software that allows creating proposals from scratch.
Web-based proposals allow you to track your clients’ interactions with proposal analytics. That makes your follow-up process easier since you know who opened the proposal, how much time they spent on each of the sections, whether they forwarded it to someone else, and more.
Other benefits are:
- Proposal AI (which compares your proposals to other successfully signed proposals and gives you tips on how to improve your proposal)
- Digital signature
- Payment integrations
- Streamlining your proposal process
- Securing your proposals with a password
- Responsive design so your proposals look great on any device
- API and Zapier integrations
Put a lot of effort into your introduction
The aforementioned research shows that most customers spend a lot of time on the introduction.
Since your executive summary is the section clients spend the most time on, it makes sense to spend some time crafting it. Write the introduction around their needs and not your previous successes — grab their attention from the start.
You should write the introduction in the customer’s own words. Explain the problem they’re facing and your solution for it. Don’t dive into the detail. Leave that for a different part of the proposal. This is just to set the tone and explain that you understand their needs.
By the time you start writing your proposal, you should already know your client’s needs. We’re only mentioning this because frequently clients don’t know how to achieve their goals and end up working in counterintuitive ways.
If you’re creating a social media proposal, explain how you’re going to help your client increase their revenue and that “likes” don’t equate to more sales. Whatever industry you are part of, we’re sure there are obstacles like these to overcome in the early stages of a business relationship.
Have a guarantee
Whether it’s a simple money-back guarantee or something more elaborate, always include a simple guarantee to push them one step further to converting. A popular way to guarantee customer satisfaction is having a time period for their clients to achieve ROI and if they fail, they get back the money.
Whatever you guarantee, make sure that you can deliver on your promises. We heard about a lot of different guarantees in the last few years and we can share some for inspiration, but make sure to create one specifically for your client’s needs.
- Promising a developed website in a span of 24 hours
- Creating a new feature for a SaaS product in X days
- Adding a new integration to your SaaS
- Offering an extra design package if you don’t complete a website in your agreed timeframe
- Writing an extra article if you’re late on delivering the agreed number of articles
- And others, depending on what you do and how your pricing structure works.
Pay special attention to pricing
There are a few tips to get the pricing right. We already covered the importance of having a simple pricing structure.
Call this section “investment,” “ROI,” or something along those lines because it actually entices people to buy. If you simply call it “pricing,” your proposal will look like a regular invoice and won’t inspire the client to look at the cost as an investment.
The way you position your pricing section is very important. It should be placed at the closing stages of your proposal, after the process, timescales, and social proof. You want the client to see the potential of your proposal and all the benefits you’ll bring them before you show the cost.
Make sure to end the proposal with a call to action that tells the client what the next steps are. That way there is no confusion and everyone is on the same page.
If you follow all of our tips, you’ll improve your conversion rates and in turn increase your revenue. It’s important to send your proposals quickly, make them easy to read and understand, and put effort into the content of your proposal.
With our tips, you’ll easily shape your proposal into a deal-winner. Make sure your pricing section has one offer and not a few package deals, and identify the proposal as an investment in the company’s future.
Knowing that your clients spend a lot of time looking at the introduction, put special effort into it. Talk to the client in their own words and make the interaction about the client, not you.
Include a guarantee as an enticement and make it hard for them to say no to your proposal.
Now that you have all the necessary information, it’s time to start creating successful proposals!
Vanja Maganjić is a writer at Better Proposals. She has a unique passion for creating content that helps brands connect with their customers. She believes that storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. Her long term goal is to become the cool auntie that gives out family-sized Kit Kats on Halloween.