No matter how much you dread creating them, proposals are a big deal; they either seal the deal or break it off. While it is still not the same as a contract, it is the thing that leads to getting one in the first place. That is why, even when you are only at the proposal stage, give it your best; it is your time and opportunity to show off. The first impressions and expectations of the clients are usually based on the proposal you give them, and you already probably know that first impressions do matter in the world of business. In short, the proposals, if done greatly, are your tool to success.

So how can you make a proposal that clients would love? Here are some tips from us to help you make a killer proposal that will definitely get you that business deal you want:

How to Make a Killer Proposal and Secure A Business Deal

  1. Get to know the job and its requirements.

Why this is important: In order to write a comprehensive proposal that shows the things your client would like to see, it is a prerequisite that you truly understand what the job is all about and what is required of you if ever you do seal the deal. It is in this phase that you have to get to know the time frame, resources, goals, and the scope of work of the project. What is the problem faced by your client? Why is an expert in your field like you needed? How can you address the issues the client is facing?

How you do it: Do not be afraid to talk to your client and ask questions. Ask them specific questions about the problems that they want you to solve rather than vague ones that would only lead you to answers you probably already know.

  1. Understand your client well.

Why this is important: No matter how good you are at your field or how good you think you are at making proposals, it is still up to your client whether or not your proposal is approved. It is for this reason that it is essential for each of your proposal to be customized according to the type of client that you have.

How you do it: We recommend that you set an introductory meeting with the client. This is so you could have an idea what exactly it is your client is looking for. It is important that you really listen and pay attention to what your client tells you; even better, learn to read between the lines. If you have a hard time remembering things, bring a small notebook and a pen and jot down all the important details you think you will need as you do your proposal and hopefully, do the job. During this meeting, it is also helpful to talk to your client about your field and the work that you do. Not only will this give the impression that you are truly an expert in your field; it will also help the client know what to expect from you.

  1. Plan the layout and style of your proposal according to #1 & #2.

Why this is important: A common mistake made by many is following just one pattern when writing proposals for different clients. This is simply wrong, and it’s quite obvious why; your clients, aside from having different personalities and backgrounds, might have different expectations and want different things. Some clients prefer an elaborate proposal – containing all the small details, – while some would prefer a short but brief and direct-to-the-point kind of proposal.

How you should do it: Customize the style and organization of the proposal you make based on the information you gathered from your client, the company your client belongs to, and the job you are required to do. Some of the important elements, however, that must be in all your proposals are the following:

  • Date
  • Current situation: Elaborate on the problem faced by the client. Doing this right gives the impression that you really took the time to understand your client and the job, and this definitely puts you at an advantage.
  1. Emphasize your edge over other competitors.

Why it is important: If your proposal contains pretty much the same as those of other competitors, clients would most likely not give it a second look. You need to think of what makes you a better choice than the others. You need to make your proposal noticeable, and you need it to outshine others’.

How you should do it: If you are in good terms with your client, you might get lucky enough to know some things about your competitors and their offers. If not, you can do your own research and brainstorming; ask yourself what makes you different from the most of them? What will the client get from you that they cannot from anyone else of your field? You need to emphasize these points in your proposal.

  1. Determine an appropriate rate/fee for the work and make sure to justify it.

Why it is important: In deciding whether you really want to pursue this job, it is important to consider the scope of work, the time and effort required of you, and most importantly, the fee/rate you are getting from this project. These are easily key factors. Therefore, you need to think of a reasonable rate. Do not be shy about this; this is your rate, so do not apologize for it. Just make sure that you are able to justify why you propose such rate.

How you should do it: When it comes to determining a justified fee, try writing a work plan or time frame. If you do not have yet a definite price in mind, try to think and estimate how many hours you will be spending on this project. Now, a high rate is not at all a problem as long as you are able to prove to your client that your work is as valuable and worth as your rate. Your proposal is the best way to do this. You probably already know how much time and effort you are about to put on the work, but your client may not understand the work required to finish the job. That is why it is essential to include in your proposal an explanation of your work strategy/plan and timeframe.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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