Two awesome tips to win more sales proposals

Professional woman working at a desk

There are so many elements that go into writing a successful sales proposal. You need to understand your client’s problem. You need to offer a solution that shows you understand their problem. You need to price your proposal in such a way that your client can see a clear ROI on their investment. You need to show how their business will benefit from working with you. And finally wrap it all up in your favotire proposal template.

That’s the basic outline for any successful proposal. However sometimes, and no matter how well you write your sales proposal, you'll have clients who are on the fence. This doesn’t mean they’re bad clients or even time wasters. There can be any number of reasons for a delay in accepting your proposal.

So how do you encourage a client who is umming and ahhing to hit that big old "Accept" button?

Let’s look at two quick tips that can help you win your next project and get the money in your bank as quickly as possible!

Create a sense of urgency with your sales proposal

Marketing 101 tells us that scarcity and urgency are sure-fire ways to make a sale. But how do you apply this to the world of proposals?

Your time is limited. You have several leads in the pipeline, you’re successful and in-demand (and if you’re not, fake it 'till you make it). Obviously you can’t hang around forever for a client to accept a proposal.

Include an expiry date in their proposal.

An expiry date shifts the client’s mindset from, “I’ll make a decision when I can” to “I need to make a decision by the end of the week”. A sense of urgency is created and your client is encouraged to make a choice.

I know what you’re thinking, “What if they come back to me after the deadline and want to move forward. Won’t I look like a doofus if I say OK?”

No. If you’re still in a position to work with them after the deadline then you renegotiate elements of the original proposal. The world of consulting, design, development and helping businesses grow…isn’t a static one. Things quickly change, as do priorities. Re-examine the project and go from there.

The other great thing about adding an expiry date to your proposals is that you’ll have a clearer idea of what your calendar will look like. If you know your proposal acceptance rate, you can plan accordingly.

Person at a desk using a calculator

Give a discount in exchange for an 100%, upfront payment

That’s right, you read correctly. Again, I can hear you thinking, “What the hell are you saying Nathan, discount my services. Isn’t that the ultimate sin????”

Let’s see…

How do you usually charge clients?

  • 50% deposit and the rest on completion?
  • 25% deposit and then gradual milestones?
  • A weekly rate of $XX.XX?

There are countless ways to charge your clients. The problem with the great majority of payment methods is that they keep you waiting to receive the full amount.

What would it be worth to have the full project fee in your hands before the project even began? I’m guessing quite a bit.

You don’t have to give away the house, but a small discount incentive can be a huge motivator. I’ve used this approach myself, so I know it works, and well.

Here’s an example I used in one of my own client proposals. (The entire fee was in my bank in a matter of days.)

Be sure to let me know in the comments below if either of these tips work out for you. If you have any proposal hacks you’d like to share, feel free to comment below.

Good luck

Nathan Powell

This post forms part of The Ultimate Guide to Proposals. All your proposal questions answered.

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