The single biggest mistake consultants make in writing proposals is rushing to get them to prospects. We rush because we all have a some deep seated fear that if we don’t get the prospect a proposal fast they’re going to find someone else and of course this is the last prospect we’ll see for a while. That fear is a lie we tell ourselves and it causes us to skip so many questions we need answers to. You will get more prospects and you will land more work, so before you write your next proposal...
So, if most proposals fail due to a lack of understanding, what you're probably asking yourself is “How can I understand what the client needs?” And that’s what today's post is about. Client interviews…
Nobody’s born knowing how to write a great proposal. Invariably we learn through trial and error, which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t the best way to learn. One of the reasons I decided to publish The Designer’s Guide to Proposals free on the blog was to help design professionals get over this immense hurdle. I think every creative professional should understand how to write a winning proposal. So to aid the process I’ve put together: The Ultimate Proposal Cheatsheet and here it is for FREE!
If there's one thing guaranteed to ruin your day, it's losing out on a contract. Rejection smarts. But wouldn't it be nice to know why you lost out? Wouldn't you like to know why all those hours spent writing kick-ass proposal were wasted?
As part of the research for my new book The Designer's Guide to Proposals I've been interviewing a hand picked bunch of talented folks. People who over the years have refined and nailed their proposal process. Do you want to win more proposals?
Have you ever felt like you're sending off proposals into the darkness? You're kind of doing the right thing and following all the standards. It's not a cold sale — your potential client clearly has an immediate need. But for some reason you already know that you're not going to land this gig. What's the problem?
Companies like Apple epitomise simplicity. Others like Yahoo walk their own path. Apple takes away, Yahoo adds. Apple offer simple solutions to sometimes complex problems, Yahoo... There is only so much information that can be of use at any one time.
In our endless search for the perfect client we inevitably send out a lot of proposals, lots and lots of proposals. But how many of them are winners? We invest valuable time in writing and designing them, time that we hope will further our careers as designers and help to take us closer to creating the perfect pitch and a winning proposal.