Selling is an art and your proposal is your canvas.
We truly believe that and have specialized in helping businesses craft perfect proposals for their clients. That’s why we created this guide, where you’ll learn what goes into creating the proposal your client is waiting for and will be able to use our consulting proposal template to easily implement all you’ve learned and close your next sale.
This sample consulting proposal template should work well for most consulting services and even for selling products, but don’t just copy everything you read in this guide. Have fun experimenting and adding your own twist to it.
After all, your proposal is a reflection of your unique value!
Our Consulting Proposal Template Structure
Our sample consulting proposal template was developed to contain all the information your client will look for while also being easy to read. Your client will want to be able to skim through the whole document and then engage with each part as questions arise.
We also address a very overlooked factor in our consulting proposal template: social proof. Most companies don’t use testimonials in their proposals, which can be very useful in creating trust and helping you close the deal.
We’ve been studying proposals for a while and we used what we learned to create the structure for this proposal template, which is composed of Cover, Introduction, The Challenge, The Solution, Why Us and Deliverables & Investment.
If you’d like to see what the finished consulting proposal template looks like, you can view it click the link below or browser more templates if you’re looking for inspiration for your consulting proposals.VIEW CONSULTING PROPOSAL TEMPLATEBROWSE MORE TEMPLATES
A well structure content is essential in optimizing your business proposals, so let’s take a look at the importance and use of each part of this template.
The cover is a way to set the tone for your proposal and remind your client why they need your help.
When your offering consulting services, you’re looking to provide a specific value to your client. Therefore, it’s generally a good idea to name your proposal after what your client is trying to achieve – e.g. “Proposal to help Acme Co reach new clients through social media” – and to use a image that shows your client you took some time crafting this proposal. It can be a picture of their business, for example, or something related to the service you’re providing.
The introduction is a good way to add a touch of personalization to your proposal. It’s a short paragraph where you can leave a personal message, thanking your prospect for the opportunity and explaining to them why you feel you’re in a position to help them achieve their goals.
Even if your proposals are very similar for every client, this introduction helps make it very personal and clients respond positively to it, as it shows you’re taking the time to develop a deeper connection with them.
A good way to set the tone for offering your service is explaining to your clients what is the problem they’re facing in your own words.
Not only does this show you understand their challenge, it reminds them what exactly they’re paying for – which is not a service, but a result.
This demands you truly understand your client and exactly what value you’re delivering to them. It shouldn’t be a problem for most service providers but if you feel you don’t have enough information to write about this and you’re just fulffiling a request, you can skip this section.
Now that you’ve laid the foundation for your proposal, you can start describing your solution, the exact way you will evaluate and solve their problem as a consultant.
Go in as much detail as you think you need without sounding overbearing. Remember that your client might not be familiar with technical terms of your industry so try to use a tone that is inclusive and familiar to them.
This is where you have the chance to expose the most differentiating features of your consulting services. Whatever it is that makes you uniquely qualified to help them – wheter it’s your experience, knowledge of their industry, methodology or anything else – try to use that angle and make it clear why your services are perfect for them.
At this point your client will start building a feel soft objections, some of which you had the chance to address when detailing your solution. It’s very natural that they’ll then ask themselves if you are, in fact, the most qualified consultant they could hire, so let’s address that.
Tell your client a bit about your consulting services, your expertise and who you’ve worked with. If you have testimonials from previous clients – specially if they’re in the same industry or had similar problems to what your current prospect is facing – it’s a great idea to include them.
This works as social proof and shows your client you have helped other companies before and will probably be able to deliver a lot of value to them.
Deliverables & Investment
If you’ve managed to build interest in your client, they’ll now be asking exactly what they’ll be getting and how much this is gonna cost.
End your proposal with a clear list of each deliverable, how long it would take conclude each part of the work and the total investment they’ll need to make.
Note we use the term investment, and not “price”. It’s important to have a distinction between both and keep the mindset that your client is making an investment and will get more value from you than what they’re paying.
Checklist for the perfect consulting proposal
Before sending your proposal, review this checklist and consider adding content to address any items you feel might not be complete.
The checklist below is a part of our guide to writing the perfect proposal, which you should definitely read if you’re interested in improving your chances of closing the sale.
Remember you already put a lot of effort into your prospect, so don’t let overlooking something you could fix in a couple of minutes get in the way of closing the sale!
- ( ) You understand what your client needs and the proposal summarises it perfectly;
- ( ) You are sending your proposal at most a day after their request;
- ( ) Your proposal is well designed and easy to follow;
- ( ) You have explained why your company is the best choice for the job;
- ( ) The scope is clear, both what is included and what is not;
- ( ) Your client will know how much they will need to invest in your services;
- ( ) Your client will understand what you need from them to start.
How to improve your chances
If you followed this consulting proposal template and you passed all items on the checklist, you’re ready to send your proposal to your client. But your work doesn’t end when you hit the “send” button. After sending your proposal, it’s important to keep the communication channel with your client open and respond to what they say (or don’t!).
Following-up is the most important and overlooked factor in improving your sales. Even though most sales take at least 5 follow-ups, most salespeople give up after following-up just once.
Simply by following-up consistently, you’ll have a lot better chances to close sales than your competitors who don’t.
You should start following-up as soon as your client views your proposal and only stop when you get a final answer. Don’t be afraid of sounding overwhelming or needy – as long as you wait a couple of days between follow-ups (or more if your client says they need more time), you’re gold.
If you feel your client is not at the right moment to make the purchase and you already have been following up for weeks, you can ask them the following question:
“ Do you feel this would be a priority for you in the next 30 days?”
Specifying a time frame is a great idea to let your client say “not now” when they’re not ready to buy. And you can then ask them when they feel you should speak again – and schedule your follow-up!
So how do you know when to start following up? If you use Proposeful, you’ll get an e-mail as soon as your client views your proposal. That’s the perfect moment to call them and ask if they have any questions.
If you’re still not using Proposeful, you should follow-up the day after you send your proposal, assuming your client had time to read it. So if you send your proposal on Monday 8pm, wait at least until Wednesday to follow-up.
The good part of following-up is that you’ll close a lot of deals you would lose because your client forgot reading your e-mail or found a minor objection which you can address very easily but they thought would be a big deal.
Remember that – as long as you believe in what you’re selling – you’re doing your client a favor by following up 🙂
Browse our free proposal templates
If you enjoyed this guide and are ready to tackle your next sale, you can use our proposal templates to start right away.
Sign up for free to see our business proposal templates. Here are some of the key advantages you’ll get from using our proposal templates:
- You’ll have beautiful, fully customizable templates that follow the structure above;
- You’ll be able to duplicate proposals for new clients in seconds;
- You’ll get an alert as soon as your client views your proposals (so you can start following-up!);
- You’ll be able to see how long your client spent on each part of your proposal;
Ready to start? You can sign-up for free right now or browse our proposal templates!