How to convince a potential client to sign off on your proposal

Apr 30, 2019

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You've worked so hard to carefully craft a proposal that's certain to catch the attention of your prospects. All the pieces are in place, and all that's left is the waiting part. Except, there's always something you can do to improve your chances of success. Check out these quick-fire tips on getting the response you want.

Go over the document

Sending the completed business proposal without thorough proofreading is a common, frustrating mistake. Make sure to give the plan a once-over. Read it manually, then run it through a spell check. Then if possible, have someone you trust read it for you and point out areas of improvement. Clean copy makes you come across as professional, while typos look amateur.

Don't make the mistake of leaving the previous client's name on business templates! This ensures a no-read and all your work will have been for naught. Do it first and foremost, no matter whether you're working via an interactive format, pre-designed templates, or cloud-based editing platforms.

Go the extra mile

The best hand-off is to submit in person so you can address roadblocks and even close the deal right then and there. The next best thing will be to call the client and let him or her know that you're sending the business proposal, and that you'll be happy to address any questions they may have over the phone.

Give an ultimatum

Deadlines are useful tools as they prevent further unnecessary delays in the agreement process. The client may be more inclined to reach out as time passes and the set day approaches.

Include an ultimatum in your plan, stating that the offer is only good within 30 days after reading the proposal. This adds a sense of urgency that prompts the client to take action even if it's a no in the end.

Feel confident that your business plan is exactly what the client is looking for? Set a date for when you'll be working with the client on the said project. Tailor it around their goals, or set a suitable timeframe that's according to your client's need. This offsets the chances that your prospect will be put off by your boldness and setting arbitrary dates.

Is your sign-off conducive To approval?

Your sign-off should be made in such a way that it's painless for the client to approve it. Take advantage of modern technology to speed up the process instead of using traditional means that are tedious and cumbersome, i.e., having to send via courier, faxing it back and forth, emailing a statement of work, etc.

If you haven't invested in a digital signature tool or an online signature system, now is the time to do so. This makes everything snappy and gives fewer reasons for the client to delay. Moreover, they won't have to scan or print papers to move forward with the project.

Payment integrations

You can include a button within the proposal that allows clients to pay for your goods or services without ever leaving the platform. Some modern templates have this feature so you can have improved chances of closing the deal. Moreover, the technology often allows for several payment methods such as bank transfers, credit card, and others.

Use electronic signature software

Integrated digital signature software makes signing off easy and painless. It's safe, secure and is as good as a real signature. You can put in as many fields as needed to complete the online business proposal in a conclusive manner.

Follow up with your client

Following up with a call as soon as the client receives the proposal can turn an improbable chance into a favorable agreement. Try to understand what the client is saying — are they hesitant? If so, ask why and try to convince them. If they wish to review other proposals, ask for a specific time on when you can get back to them.

More engagement equals greater sign-off success

You might think that interaction with the client is a post-proposal process, but the fact is you'll be missing a lot of opportunity to seal the deal. You acquire the brief, then work on your own, only to learn in the end that the final design is not what your client had in mind.

Sharing your work mid-plan may sound risky, but there's an upside to that. You can acquire valuable feedback and get them involved in what you're trying to do. Psychologically speaking, people who get involved usually feel a sense of ownership in the project, which increases your chances of getting the green light.

Engaging the prospect will also give you the opportunity to let the stakeholder know about your decisions. The more they understand, the greater the chances of success, because the trust has been built even before you shake hands.

Aaron Beashel is Head of Marketing at Qwilr, which produces intuitive sales and marketing documents that integrate seamlessly with your business.