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Never Write a Proposal Again

April 15th, 2008

Posted by to Online Marketing

by Shama Hyder

Yes, this defies conventional wisdom. But it also saves an immense amount of time and weeds out prospects who aren’t serious. How do you go about doing this?

1) Redefine Proposal- Alan Weiss, super consultant, says "Proposals are meant to be a summation, not an exploration." If a client asks for a proposal, use this quote! Tell them you will be happy to provide a document summing up items already discussed, but don’t see the need for a full proposal. I have never had a client ask for more.

2) Submit a 1 page Summary Instead- Swap proposals for one page summaries. You can do it in bullet points. Just be sure to include objectives, price points, and a list of deliverables. You will never go back to doing proposals again.

3) Don’t use a proposal to sell- This is key when it comes to getting away with doing proposals. Don’t use them as a selling tool. This is worth repeating: Don’t use proposals as a selling tool. Sell over the phone or in person and then use a one page summary to recap the sealed deal.

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  • I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to drop proposals altogether, but I have streamlined it to such a degree that it doesn’t hurt to do them anymore.

    I have a standard proposal that covers most everything we do. I pull out anything that’s not appropriate for the client, i.e., a blog or an email newsletter, and customize the purpose statement at the top of the first page.

    Excluding some very customized jobs, it means I can create a proposal in about 10 minutes that really addresses the client’s needs. If they are interested in moving forward, we can hammer out the details in a work agreement.

    Hope this helps your readers!

  • Hi Rich,

    Thanks for your comment!

    If you have a great standard that makes it easy, that’s perfect. No reason to switch.

    This article is really geared for those who POUR over proposals and use them as selling tools-only to find wasted time and effort.

  • As I am starting out in coaching, and have been asked for a proposal by a prospect, the cartoon shown with this article got me thinking. I like the quote on a proposal being a summation! Useful article to me, in that I can cut out on lots of paperwork. Rich’s comment is also useful. I think both are timely for me. Thanks.

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