June 25, 2018

The Crux Of The Proposal

Lots of people ask me about how to write better proposals. I’ve been talking about the same proposal writing tactics for years. Today I recorded an entire hour long podcast episode about it. And it’s not the first time I’ve done this.

For some reason, the endless tactical questions have made me a little cranky today, so please bear with me while I rant for a sec.

Here’s your Tough Love™ thought for the day:

The more words your proposals contain, the more likely it is that you aren’t good at your craft, or that you are trying to cover your ass, or that you are afraid to guarantee any particular business outcome.

There. I said it.

The real trick to writing good proposals has nothing to do with the document itself.

If you are good at your craft, and you know who your ideal clients are, and you understand the business benefits that you can deliver, your entire proposal could basically be:

I will deliver $businessoutcome to you for $dollaramount or I’ll refund your money.

That’s really the crux of it.

Now... before you hit reply to yell at me or tell me it’s not that simple or try to explain to me how for “it’s different” with your industry (or country or demographic), take few minutes to imagine what your life would be like if you could deliver proposals like this.


Think about it.

Imagine what it would be like if you were so confident in delivering valuable business outcomes to your ideal clients that you could offer a money back guarantee.

I’ll tell you what it would be like:

It would be amazing.

Assuming that the business outcomes you are capable of delivering are significantly more valuable to your ideal client than it costs you to deliver them, you’d basically be printing money. And, oh by the way, you’d be making your client’s lives way better in the process.

But you’re not delivering proposals like this are you?

Why not?

My guess is that you’re good enough at your craft to deliver valuable business outcomes to the right clients. Which leaves two possibilities:

You either don’t know who your ideal clients are, AND/OR you don’t understand the business benefits of that you can deliver.

If you solve for both of these variables, you won’t have to worry that much about the mechanics of proposal writing.