the sky floor

#1 Tip for Great Proposals

June 23, 2021

When making proposals, it is critical to get all the information you can about your potential client. Understanding their goals is vital.

Start with why. Ask a ton of why questions. You don’t need to talk that much, but you need to elicit thorough responses. Ask why and then let the power of the pause work its magic. The person on the other end will start to tell you details you didn’t know you needed. 

Some why questions I like to ask:

  • Why now? 
  • Why are you doing this project now?
  • Why aren’t you taking this work overseas?
  • Why not use Squarespace, Shopify, or Wix?
  • I heard you say XXXX; why do you say that?

But asking why and listening isn’t my tip for exceptional proposals – it is just the ammunition. 

Now that you know the why, you can tell it right back to your potential client in your proposal. The power of this is that the client gives you the cheat sheet with all the answers. You merely have to combine it with how you pitch your expertise. 

Echoing the why in your proposal serves multiple purposes:

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  • It shows you were listening and care.
  • The client remembers or learns intentions they forgot.
  • You demonstrate a collaborative attitude.
  • It gives a road map for providing value and pricing for it.
  • It gives you a way to measure success. When you uncover goals and desires that underpin the project, you can follow up with the client to see how the project is achieving those results.

When working through the proposal process, remember: 

  1. Why?
  2. Pause, Listen.
  3. Echo in writing.
  4. Repeat!