Here are 6 things to consider when writing a proposal.

1: Write a “Situation Summary” which is an overview of what you understand of the client’s current situation, which shows you have been listening. This is important as I recall a client saying you really understand what is happening for us.

2: Objective.
Be specific when you outline the objective – for instance – you intend to implement a new process or develop a vision growth map and strategy for the next 18 months

3: Measurements of success
What the client needs to see that confirms you are on track to achieving the objective(s) you agreed. In my early days, I would struggle to remember or have to conjure up what I thought their measurements might be. During the meeting – as specifically, “what would you need to see to confirm that this is working? Listen, take notes and put that in the proposal.

4: Value
There is an underlying reason why people do things, it will make them look good, improve retention, save money. The question to ask is what would achieving these objectives give you? This is crucial as it clearly outlines how much their situation will improve after your intervention and what it will provide them with. For instance -“The department can run without any of the management being present all of the time.” This needs to be in their words.

5: Proposed approach
A high-level overview of your process rather than a detailed outline. I provide an image of my Venn diagram, which shows the three key areas we will work on, which I would have explained during our meeting.

6: Options and Investments
Have three options. You are shooting yourself in the foot if you submit a proposal with just one fee. As Alan Weiss would say, “make it a series of yeses,” each option should demonstrate increasing value and investment return.

There are many ways to submit proposals.

This works for me. It’s succinct, demonstrates that I understand their challenges, can improve their situation and that there is a return on investment for the client.