Whether you’re from an up-and-coming startup or a business that’s been enjoying some prosperous growth, you should know that one of the most effective ways to score big-time clients is to up your client proposal game. To do that, you either need someone who’s absolutely brilliant at writing client proposals, or you can also use a good client proposal template.
Since not all of us may have the luck or the budget to do the former, we’ll focus on the latter instead.
Of course, while it’s clearly easier and more budget-friendly to go with a client proposal template—with many of them available online either for free or at a low cost—not all templates are made equal. You need to discern which ones are worth using and which ones are not.
To help you with that, here are some qualities that you should look for in a good client proposal template. You can also use this guide when you consider using proposal software, which automatically generates templates for you whenever you need it.
It should have all the essentials
A good client proposal template should include all of the following client proposal essentials:
- Title Page. The title of your client proposal. This displays the basic information about your company, such as its name, logo, and company information. It also describes what the document is in a brief and succinct fashion.
- Cover Letter. This is the part where your client would be given a brief backgrounder of your company and what it’s all about. As such, this section should have a one-liner about your company, a brief background of how it came to be, as well as a short overview of what sets you apart from your competitors.
- Table of Contents. Basically an outline of your proposal’s contents. This helps the client know what they can expect to read in your proposal and be able to refer quickly to the part they’re looking for the most. If the content titles are clickable, even better.
- Executive Summary. This section allows you to set the scene for the proposal—why are you sending it, and why should the client read it? Answer those two questions with this section.
- Proposal. The proposal proper. This should be an overview of the customized services you’re offering the client that should, by all rights, answer their needs. This should also let them know that you’re the one for the job.
- Service and Methodology. This expounds on the proposal, describing all the services and your company’s methodologies involved in full. This should be as detailed as possible, and worded in a positive way to better bring across the value of your service.
- Pricing. The specific prices that you’re offering the client based on the services you’re proposing to render for them. Again, this must be itemized and detailed exhaustively. You should also make sure to have all the figures double-checked—you don’t want to ruin your first impression by sending over an erroneous price list!
- Agreement and Call to Action. This last section empowers your client to formalize their acceptance of your proposal and agreeing to do business with you. The CTA should also be polite and gently encouraging, never overzealous or overbearing.
These sections are essential in bringing your proposal across to your client in a way that’s detailed and informative while also being easy to understand. If your proposal template is missing any of these key areas, then chances are you’ve probably picked the wrong type.
It should be easily modifiable
Your chosen client proposal template should give you an easy time when it comes to customizing it for your own purposes. This means that it should allow you to insert your own text, images, and even custom sections effortlessly, as well as rearrange everything to your liking. If the template or software you’re using gives you a hard time in doing any of those, then you need to switch ASAP.
It should have enough space for you to show your brand
One of the most common complaints when it comes to client proposal templates is that they usually have very little space for you to show off your company’s brand and logo. This can make your final proposal look very generic and impersonal, as if it’s been made using a template—which is exactly what you don’t want. In any case, your perfect client proposal template should give you enough freedom to really imprint your company’s image and feel onto it.
It should look attractive
Another quality to look for when choosing a client proposal template should always look aesthetically appealing while also being relevant to the field that your company is from. It should stand out visually in such a way that it sets itself apart from the rest of the proposals your client will inevitably be getting while still providing content that’s both compelling and substantial.
It should be printer-friendly
While client proposals are usually sent over emails in digital format, there’s always something to be said about mailing your prospective client a beautifully-bound and printed hard copy. It puts forward the concept that your company is a stickler for detail and knows how to make a good impression. Your client proposal template should be styled in such a way that it can easily be printed without having to make any extensive adjustments.
Look for these qualities in your client proposal template and you’ll be sure to get the client of your choice no matter how big or ambitious the job. Just remember to always be particular when it comes to typos and figures—double- and even triple-check as necessary to weed them all out!