8 mistakes you’re making with your client proposals - The Design Order

8 mistakes you’re making with your client proposals

8 mistakes you’re making with your client proposals

You’re in!! You’ve connected with that client that you’ve been dreeeeaming of working with. This is your one shot at showing them how perfect you are for them and how you’re totally going to nail their project. Now, before you pull out your well-used client proposal, I would like to suggest you don’t.

Yep, you heard me. Every single element which you send to your clients should consistently and accurately reflect your business branding. With that in mind, I’d like you to read through some mistakes I think you’re probably making with your client proposal and consider that it might be time to change it up!


You’ve got too many options
I totally get it. Not everyone is decisive and, you want to show your client what a diverse portfolio you have and all that you’re capable of. The problem with this approach is, you need to be the leader here. Show them you know what’s best for their business by narrowing down their choices to the ones which you know will best suit their needs.


You’re using a generic template
The very best way to show that you’re invested in this client and their project is to design their proposal just for them. Put their name on it, personalise it to suit their needs and their industry to show them how excited you are to get started on their work.


You’ve got no evidence of your success
It’s like when you’re on a road trip and you’ve just hit the Middle of Nowhere Bakery who have a sign out the front of their shop claiming to make the best pies in Australia. As a service provider, you can pretty much say anything you like but, to ensure it’s not interpreted as just some outlandish claim, always provide evidence. Include case studies and testimonials to support your proposal and get your potential clients excited to work with you.


You haven’t explained your process
Yes, you can promise all kinds of things and give awesome examples of what their final product will look like. However, unless you outline how you will achieve their end goal, there’s no way for them to know exactly what it is they’re signing up for.


You haven’t introduced your team
As I mentioned before, this is your one shot to deliver everything your client needs to know before they come on board. Kinda like with your process, giving them a solid understanding of the team they’ll be working with is super important. Help them to understand the people behind the brand and all the incredible things they’re capable of.


You forgot the FAQs
When you leave this document with your potential clients, they should have everything they need to make their decision about working with you. In other words, if anything comes to mind that they need clearing up, you’d better have included it in your proposal. Work through a set of FAQs which will cover all the questions your clients might think of and rebut any reasons they may have to go with someone else.


You haven’t advised what your timeline will be
Generally when we’re working with clients, we need certain responses from them in order to complete their work and, if they’re slow on delivering this, we are too. When you map out their timeline, they can see how the project will all come together and their expectations about how long everything will take will be clear from the outset.


You didn’t finish with a punchy Call to Action
The purpose of your client proposal is to outline everything your client needs to know about working with you. And, I mean everything! If you want your dream client to call you as soon as they’ve finished reading, tell them. If they need to email you to kickstart the process, they need to know. Wrap up your proposal in a way which leaves your clients inspired and with absolutely no confusion about what will happen next.


Do you agree that now it’s time to change up your client proposal? Then, we’ve got some great news for you!! With years of experience in understanding the needs of our clients, we’ve channelled it all into putting together a suite of branding templates which are going to rock your world and, in amongst them might just be a proposal template!! If this is something which you’d like to know more about, sign up to my newsletter so you’re the first to know when these launch!



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