Yes or no are the two best answers we can get and it is best to get them as early as possible. This is why we avoid the sales pitch and go straight to the conversation if possible. In a conversation, we can invite the client to say no early and often. Conversations allow us to measure and reassure clients intent effectively and not mistake it for mere interest.
When a client asks for a written proposal, our interpretation is that they are meaning to maintain distance. That distance is not good for our client and not good for the goals we should hope to achieve. It is our policy that we do not make written proposals. Prospective clients cannot afford to tolerate situations that reduce our firm to samples of its work. If you’re looking for a pomegranate, it is our responsibility to insist that you don’t use a process that compares apples to apples.
When we spend hours writing a proposal or doing work before an agreement Is reached, it sends the message that we are desperate for the client’s business and not taking time away from a more pressing demand of our focus. It creates unneeded buying resistance and is not representative of our expertise. We are not in the business of drafting proposals and waiting for replies. We are in the business of focusing on our goals of creating value for paying clients.
Every client has the right to change their mind before they part with their money and so do we. Solving our clients’ problems before we are engaged is a waste of precious time and money for both of us. Either we leverage our power gained from expertise to impact the clients process and replace the proposal and presentation with conversation, or we walk away from that relationship. We know you would have broken through that façade if you were compelled to do so already.
We propose to do task X over Y time-frame for Z price.
In conclusion, a proposal will be from now on verbally: we propose to do x, over y time-frame, for z price. The client must be assured that we are not in the proposal writing business. If I am to propose, it will be done with words and not with paper. Paper only comes in the form of a contract only after intent is established and an agreement has been met.