The importance of systemizing your Proposal Process

Guest Blog Post
Ismail Maiyegun | Big Money Proposals

When I first started out my web development business, the importance of proposals was not apparent to me. Like most first time entrepreneurs, I learned a lot by trial and error. Whenever a client told me what they wanted, I would simply send them a one-line email with my price or even worse, simply tell them verbally and expect them to take action. While many did, I left a lot of money on the table with my informal process.

While brainstorming how to formalize my pitch process, by chance, I came across a web designer’s blog who spoke about the do’s and dont’s of proposals.

Proposals?” I thought. “I’ve never really had to write one of these but it’s worth a shot.

 

I remember one of the first thorough proposals I wrote. It took me over 20 hours to put together and was one of my finest pieces of writing to date. I had spent about 10 hours researching and another 10 hours simply putting together the document. It was a grueling & arduous process but given the potential amount I was going to get from the project, I was able to power through it, even though I was mentally drained for a week afterwards.

There is NO WAY the client could say no to this….” I thought.

After reading through my proposal, the client considered me as one of their top three potential vendors. However, a few random circumstances occurred such that I didn’t end up winning the project (no one did. Budget was cut). I was a bit bummed because I had spent so much time putting together the proposal. I tried not to let it phase me. I knew that I could easily re-use the content I had written for future clients and that from now on,I could spend less than an hour customizing that proposal for similar projects.

A new system was born

I approached every new proposal and project like this. I knew that even if I didn’t win the project, it was an investment in my company’s marketing and sales collateral to write the proposals. Before long, I had amassed a wide range of original proposal templates on projects ranging from Logo Design to SEO to Mobile App Development to Web Application Development. While every client project was different in some manner, I had a base set of templates from which to work from. What I found was that writing proposals was actually therapeutic and really allowed me to convince myself on why I was the go-to person for the project. More importantly, I was able to position myself as an expert in my clients eyes, which allowed me to charge way higher than I previously was doing. People are willing to spend more when they are presented with a well though out plan of action!

My system was a bit inefficient given that I was simply copying and pasting old documents and arranging proposals in client folders with DropBox. I would copy bits and pieces from my old proposals to craft a brand new one and do some proof reading. I’d add additional notes/points from client discussions to tailor the proposals to them.

Systems are so important because they allow you to free up your valuable time as a business owner. Using a system like QuoteRoller will allow you to save and store your old proposals and really have a birds eye view on your funnel. Unlike my manual system of using Dropbox & patching Word Documents, QuoteRoller will allow you to keep track of how your clients are interacting with your proposal (are they spending a long time at the fees section? Are they even reading your portfolio section? Are they even reading your proposal?). These are all actionable insights that will allow you to win more and more projects over time.

One of the great things about QuoteRoller is that it allows prospective clients to take action by signing and accepting your proposal right there and then!

I wish QuoteRoller existed when I started because there were times I was definitely not up to putting in 10 hours just to write a proposal that wasn’t going to be read.

And if you would like to leg up on some sample proposals that I’ve written and used in the past, you should take check out the Big Money Proposals System. It is a video course I’ve put together on additional insights I use to routinely close projects worth $5k-25k and up. Use the code QUOTEROLLER at check out to save $50!

Learn more at BigMoneyProposals.com


Ismail Maiyegun is the creator of the {Big Money Proposals System}, a video course on how to close big projects. He is the founder of Digitalvaliance, a mobile and web applications development company based in San Francisco, CA whose current & former clients projects include Candice Wiggins, a non-profit founded by Jude Law and eHarmony. He graduated from Stanford University in 2007.

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