Writing a Proposal5:30 with Paul Boag
How detailed should a proposal be? What goes into a proposal? In this video, Paul addresses various aspects and why a discussion with a client before preparing a proposal is necessary.
Another thing you have to do is part of the sales process is write proposals. 0:00 Not very easy thing to do especially if really 0:05 you're a designer or a developer at heart. 0:08 But it's really important is your opportunity to standout from the crowd, 0:10 it's your opportunity to grab the perspective client's attention. 0:13 The first thing to do before you even start writing a proposal, 0:19 is talk to the client, pick up the phone 0:23 and have a chat with him before putting pen to paper. 0:27 It's a chance to ask questions 0:31 and a chance to show your expertise and start a conversation. 0:33 It's a chance to build a relationship. 0:38 Just receiving a printed document through is one thing 0:41 but having a conversation with the client is quite another. 0:44 It changes the whole dynamic of the relationship 0:49 and increases the chances of you winning the work a hundredfold 0:51 because you show that you care about the project, 0:56 you ask intelligent questions, and you come across as the expert. 0:59 You build a relationship. 1:03 Don't be afraid to challenge the client when you have those conversations as well. 1:05 Clients actually want you to provide alternative approaches. 1:10 They don't want to spoon feed you. They want you to be the expert. 1:14 So it's perfectly okay to may be suggest the old alternative approach to things. 1:18 So, when it actually comes to writing the proposal, 1:25 how detailed should that proposal be? 1:29 Well the answer as with all things is it depends. 1:32 It depends on the size of the project for a start. 1:36 If it's a massive project, then they can expect the fairly detailed proposal. 1:40 If on the other hand it's small piece of work, 1:44 then really an email probably is enough. 1:47 It doesn't just depend on the size of the project, however, 1:50 it also depends on the depth of the brief that you've received. 1:54 If you received an invitation to tender or request a proposal, 2:00 whatever you want to call it and it's really detailed, 2:03 then probably your proposal should be very detailed as well. 2:06 If they've not included so much detail, then fine. 2:11 You don't respond with this much detail. 2:14 It's important to understand the aims of the proposal. 2:17 Why are you creating one? 2:20 Well, first is to demonstrate your expertise. 2:23 It's about giving a sense that you know what you're talking about 2:26 and a sense of what it would be like to work with you. 2:30 Ultimately, it's all about providing confidence. 2:34 A confidence to the client that you can deliver on their project. 2:37 So what goes into a proposal? 2:43 Well, there's so many things that could go into a proposal 2:46 but they don't only to go in there for single one. 2:50 Like I said, it depends but some other things would include 2:53 a summary of the tasks. 2:57 You need to write out what you're going to do for the client. 2:59 Fairly obvious. Isn't it really? 3:03 But you also need to cover your suitability. 3:05 What makes you the right choice for the client? 3:07 You need to talk about time scales. And don't be afraid to be honest here. 3:10 You're better off saying if you're going to go over that time set scales 3:15 rather making promises you can't keep. 3:20 Clients are often very grateful for the honesty in the documentation. 3:23 And if you are saying that it's going to take longer than your competitors, 3:28 then they might begin to wonder what the competitors are up to 3:33 but if you are going to go over on the time scale, you need to justify why that is, 3:37 otherwise, they're not going to believe you. 3:41 Then there is pricing. Of course, I've already mentioned that. 3:44 That needs to be in your proposal as well. 3:47 You also need to cover things like project management. 3:50 How often is the client going to hear from you? 3:52 How is the relationship going to work? 3:54 Is it going to be via email? Will there be meetings? What's going on there? 3:57 You need some back testing. What devices are you going to test on? 4:00 Set some kind of parameters there; 4:04 otherwise, they're going to be wondering why their website 4:06 isn't working in all sense. 4:08 Hosting, we need to talk about that as well. That's a really important thing. 4:11 Are they going to be hosting it or are you going to be doing that. 4:14 Who's going to be managing that process 4:17 and what costs that are associated with that? 4:19 Discuss technologies as well. 4:22 That's a really important area because you don't want to suggest the technology 4:24 that their hosting environment can't support. 4:28 Most proposals also should include references. That's a really important thing. 4:31 So that the client can go and talk to your existing customers 4:36 and find out whether you're really as good as you claim. 4:39 Finally, try and say a little bit about the team 4:43 that would be working on the project. 4:46 Why those people are suitable? 4:48 If it's you--Why you are a great web designer? What makes you different? 4:50 If it's with other people, make sure you show exactly 4:54 who's going to be working on the project. 4:57 Most of all, make sure your proposal is well written and visually engaging. 5:00 Put as much work into your proposals as you do into your website. 5:06 It is massively important that these documents are really, really good. 5:11 Get somebody else to check it as well because that makes a huge difference. 5:15 Ultimately, a proposal is your page. 5:20 It's how you're presenting yourself to the client. 5:23 So it needs a lot of time and lot of intention. 5:26
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