Adam Hempenstall is the founder of Better Proposals – simple software that creates easy to use and visually appealing proposals for people in the creative and service industries. In this episode, Adam walks us through the essential steps needed to increase your proposal conversion rates.
(NB. The tips are so good that we decided to include a checklist for them in the show note links below!)
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Adam has been in business for 16 years, running a design agency for nine of those years. Born from his frustration with the tedious time taken to write proposals, he asked his development team to make a basic web-based tool that gave them some tracking stats on the proposals that they sent out. When he saw that more and more people were interested in the proposal template that they were sending, he bought the domain name BetterProposals.io, put up a basic landing page, and got more leads in one week than they had in the whole previous year! Adam knew he was onto something.
Adam begins the interview by explaining that we need to stop looking at proposals as a necessary evil and start looking at them as one of the most important components of your business processes. “Afterall, if your proposals suck, you won’t land the job!”
Adam has seen time and time again that people don’t realize proposals are a thing that can be improved upon. More often than not, a business puts in place a standard proposal when they get started and don’t bother to reassess or improve it over time.
Mike asks Adam to outline the most important things to include in a solid proposal. Adam delivers some extremely helpful pointers…
1) Make sure your introduction is tight
Adam let us in on a little secret – the two most important elements in a proposal are the introduction and the price. In his experience, he’s seen that people usually read the intro, then skip straight to the price page.
So the introduction needs to be perfect!
Understand exactly what the potential client wants for their business and repeat their needs and goals concisely back to them in this section of the document. “Write your proposal through the filter of what they want to achieve.”
2) Stay away from jargon
Adam is dumbfounded by the fact that people can talk themselves out of the job by adding things to the proposal that simply shouldn’t be there.Technical jargon only serves to confuse the reader!
“Adding relevant case studies is a must, ” says Adam. Tailor the case study for the person you’re writing the proposal for. Be mindful of the overall budget though and do this in relation to size and scalability of the project. Mike asks him to give some specific examples of what you’d include in the way of case studies for various sized budgets. Here’s a good, general guide that Adam outlines…
-Small budget (say $500): Think about what projects you’ve done that are similar to this and include them. It doesn’t necessarily need to be industry specific.
-Bigger Budget (say $2K – 3K): Find a bank of case studies that tackle the problem the potential client is facing. Keep it industry specific, but if you can’t, focus on the goal of the client and use a case study of a project with a similar goal.
-Even Bigger Budget (Say $5K and over): Personalize the case study. Re-write it specifically to draw attention to the potential client’s business, problem, and goals.
Give them instruction on what to do next. So many people leave this part out of the proposal! Adam suggests this as a rough guide…
Step 1 – “Firstly, you need to sign the document”
Step 2 – “We’ll then lock in a meeting (phone / in person)”
Step 3 – “We’ll then send the first invoice”
Gold Nugget Takeaway
Adam’s Secret Weapons to Winning the Job
1) Send the proposal as soon as you can – while the rapport and details are still fresh in their mind.
2) Make it easy for them to buy. Reduce the amount of steps needed to seal the deal.
If you’re worried about seeing too forward, don’t. You need to start looking at yourself as “the marketing doctor” (learn what Adam means by this at the 29-minute mark). You are the expert. You need a certain level of authority, belief, and conviction to carry it out.
You’ve heard it straight from the horse's mouth. Now it’s time to implement and elevate! Leave us a comment and let us know what gems you’ve gleamed from this insightful interview with Adam Hempenstall!