How To Present Your Proposal And Close The Deal | Proposify
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How To Present Your Proposal And Close The Deal

Alright, it’s all come down to this: Can you close the deal?

5 min. read

First of all, once you’re happy with the content and design of your proposal, make sure you proof read it and run it through a spell-check. Nothing screams “amateur” more than a proposal full of typos, and in your clients mind, a poorly executed proposal is a reflection of how you’ll treat their project. It’s really hard to edit your own work, so leverage people on your team or even friends and family by asking someone to proof-read it for you.

A common mistake in proposals is to accidentally leave the name of a past client instead of the current one you’re pitching. This is flat out embarrassing, so don’t make that mistake! With Proposify, it allows you to use variables, like {client_name} that you can include in your text so it will auto replace the name for you. You’ll never have to worry about including the wrong clients name again!

OK, so your proposal is flawless and ready to send. Great! However, if you email the proposal, it’s very easy for your client to forget about it and you’ll wonder why days have passed with no confirmation that he received it. If at all possible, it’s best to present your proposal in person so that any questions or potential roadblocks can be addressed right away, and you can potentially close the deal on the spot. If that’s not possible, at least call your client up and tell him you’re sending the proposal and ask if he has a few minutes to review it over the phone.

[Also see Nail Your Next Pitch By Tapping Into Your Clients Emotions]

When you use Proposify, you can either download a high-resolution PDF or you can email your client from the app itself. When your client receives the email from you, it will contain a link so he can view it in the browser, check on or off optional fees, accept and sign off on the proposal right there! You can even log in and see the dates and times he opened the proposal.

Getting a faster decision by following up

One of the worst parts about writing proposals is that they can take a long time to close, and it sucks spending so much time on something only to leave it stranded in the lagoon of lost proposals. It helps to give your client a deadline to make a decision. You can state in your proposal that the offer is null and void after a given time period, say 30 days, that way your client knows if he sits on it for months he can’t expect you to honor the original price. Even if you would honor the price, just adding a sense of urgency can help get a firm decision, either yes or no.

If your client seems hesitant, ask what’s holding him back from deciding. If he has to review other competitors proposals, ask him how long he needs and then follow up to ask for a decision. As the old sales cliche goes, “the fortune is in the follow up”. Sometimes a phone call can be the deciding factor in whether or not you win the work. Experienced salespeople are not passive, they follow up until they get an answer.

What if the answer is 'no'?

If the answer is no, ask him why. There’s no harm in doing so, and it can help you improve for next time. Generally, you’ll get a no for one of the following reasons:

Your proposal was too costly If that’s the case, perhaps you can still close the deal by negotiating your price or reducing the deliverables. Also, remember next time to qualify the prospect better, so he’s not surprised by the price.

Your competitor outshone you Ask the client what it was that swayed him in his decision making so you’ll know for next time. Maybe your competitor is doing something you can copy to close more deals.

He didn’t see a fit Maybe you didn’t do a good enough job addressing the clients pain points, or you didn’t seem enthusiastic about working with him. Whatever the reason, make sure you understand why so you can either adjust your pitch for next time, or better qualify your prospect.

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, there’s nothing you can do. Perhaps there was internal upheaval or budget cuts and the project was put on hold by the powers that be. Whatever the case, make sure you leave it on a positive note, you never know what will happen in the future. The person you were dealing with may move on to another company, and if he had a positive experience with you, even at the proposal stage, he may just hand you another project when you least expect it.

Making sign-off painless

If the client agrees to proceed with the project and accepts your proposal, make it easy for him to sign off. You can be old fashioned and email him a statement of work, or courier it to his office. You can also be more modern and use a digital document signature tool like Right Signature or Docusign.

I recommend using an online signature system so your client doesn’t have to print and scan anything. You want that signature as the final way to lock him in, and if you leave it too long, something could come up that delays the project. Using Proposify, your client can use his mouse or finger (touch screens) to give proposal sign off right in the browser without installing anything.

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