Just saying the words “business proposal” can be enough to send a shiver down the spine. After all, introducing a business proposal is the first impression potential clients will have of you. And it can be challenging to know what information is worth including and what’s better left on the cutting floor. It can also feel defeating when you invest a lot of time in a proposal and don’t win the job.
But when you break a proposal down to its essential elements and learn a few key tricks to grabbing the client’s attention, you’ll feel much more confident about the process.
This starts with the introduction. There’s an art form to how you introduce a business proposal, and in this article, we’ll be covering how you can master it too.
So, if you’re looking to land more clients, then leading with a professional introduction should be the first check on your list. Before you start writing, here are some foolproof ways you can start your proposals strong.
How to Nail A Business Proposal Introduction
Whether you’re new to freelancing or looking for ways to lock down a potential client, starting with your business proposal introduction is vital. After all, this is the first impression a potential client will have of you.
The introduction provides new business clients with an overview of your services and how they’ll aid the client. It’s important to write a compelling introduction. This will help to avoid a quick dismissal as clients fish through piles of proposals. If the introduction isn’t interesting or contains short, to-the-point knowledge about your business plan, it can easily get lost in the pile.
In that case, take a moment and review everything in this article. If you already have a proposal template in mind, then make sure your introduction follows these tips. If you don’t have one in mind, then be sure to find a template to help you address the following information.
Do Your Research
It can be tempting to swap out the client name and blast the same proposal to multiple clients with similar interests. But here’s why that isn’t such a good idea: It’s pretty easy to tell that something wasn’t written with you in mind. By spending a bit of extra time researching a client and their highly specific needs, not only will it feel more personalized to the reader, but it’ll be a better pitch for it.
The amount of time you invest in a client’s needs before they even hire you shows that you’re dedicated to making a difference in their business. And it’ll help you create a highly tailored plan that will save you time later when you start putting it into action.
The introduction isn’t all about how great of a freelancer you are. The main idea of a business proposal is being able to solve a problem or provide a service. Start by introducing yourself and thanking the prospective client for their time.
It’s important to then outline a simple, quick paragraph about how your work has been successful. Give a brief introduction about results that have been achieved in the past as well as the results that have been achieved from other products.
Be sure to mention the percentage of success rates with previous clients. You could even include a testimonial in this part of the introduction if you have a short one. A testimonial will keep the potential client reading.
Make It About the Client
The main goal of a business proposal is to solve the client’s problems or tasks. Focus on that with a business plan introduction. The introduction shouldn’t brag or show off any of your services. There will be plenty of space in the rest of the business proposal for that.
Instead, make your business proposal all about them. Sometimes, it can be challenging to remember this when we’re busy trying to sell ourselves and our achievements. But the key to a great business proposal is to shift the focus on them and the value you bring—not what they can do for you.
The introduction should focus on the proposed solution and the steps you’ll take to get there.
- Address the potential client’s problem.
- State all proposed solutions that you plan to address throughout the entire proposal.
- Be honest. It’s important to address the prospect’s problem in a realistic way. Too often, proposals are pushed aside because they’re seen as unrealistic.
- Convince the client to choose you early on.
- Show you care. Show the client that you can solve their problem and feel strongly about finding a solution together.
Addressing the prospective client in the introduction will show that you’re ready to work with them.
”With all the fake SEO gurus and experts out there, often when a potential prospect speaks about their problems, you are better off just sitting down and paying attention to what frustrates them the most when trying to get more organic traffic. Eventually, they’re most likely to show you the way to seal a deal. This is true for any business — you’re just better off listening than only proposing honestly whether you can be the cure or not.”— Joshua Yap, CEO of Solid Metrics: Crypto Marketing Agency
Create an Outline
Before freelancers write a business proposal, it’s important to make business proposal outlines. The outline will help freelancers to know what needs to be addressed in the introduction. Be sure to highlight or underline any aspects you feel will be vital to put in your introduction.
The idea of an outline is to build a structure and flow of the business proposal. Starting with a steady foundation not only makes the writing process smoother but it will also help organize everything that needs to go into the introduction.
Highlight Your Objectives
Objectives are super important when it comes to a business proposal. It’s vital that you know your objectives before sitting down to make the outline. These objectives will help keep you on track throughout the proposal creation.
It’s pretty evident when a proposal doesn’t have clear objectives. The points tend to be drawn out and don’t relate to the problem.
It’s a common misconception that everything needs to be done by scratch in the freelancing world. In reality, templates work great for creating a stunning proposal. That goes for the introduction as well.
Templates help you stick to an overarching outline, giving you a clear roadmap so you can spend more time making the proposal engaging and less time wondering what information needs to be included. This doesn’t mean you must strictly adhere to a formal structure and avoid any deviations from the outline. On the contrary, you have the freedom to engage in informal conversations and utilize storytelling techniques to make your interactions more captivating. Remember, you are essentially selling something, and incorporating storytelling in sales presentations not only entertains your audience but also piques their curiosity about your offer.
Proposal templates provide all of the basic information needed in a proposal to entice the client. With major sections broken down into smaller ones, it will be easier to address the different aspects of the proposal.
How to Outline the Project Plan
A good business proposal introduction always maps out the business plan. This can quickly and easily be done in a freelance proposal as well. Follow these steps to create an effective business proposal introduction.
1. Talk About the Plan
The business plan of a proposal should be stated in one or two sentences. These sentences should set up the objectives that’ll be mentioned later in detail. Give the most intriguing details that’ll hook your reader, encouraging them to read further to get the full picture.
2. Briefly Address the Problem
This can again be done in just a few sentences. It’s important to let companies know there is a plan set in place. When they read that in the intro, it will pique their interest; then, freelancers can explain it in greater detail later in the proposal.
It’s worth mentioning again that the secret to a great business proposal is to shift the focus on them and the value you bring—not what they can do for you.
Tips to Winning Over More Freelance Clients
Winning over freelance clients right from the get-go isn’t easy. But it is possible. Your proposal introduction shouldn’t be super lengthy. Although, it should get the point across. Show your readers that you’ve done your research and have a business plan that can solve their problems.
Choose one or more of the following to spice up the introduction of your business proposal:
- Add a few features about your solution
Let the potential client know that you do have a plan set in place to solve their problem.
- List anticipated results
No one wants to stop reading after seeing something they want. And sharing anticipated results can intrigue potential clients. You can forecast these results by basing them on past results you achieved for clients. This is much more attention-grabbing than talking about what you think will happen. Instead, be confident in saying what you know will happen.
- Draft the Project Timeline
Later in the proposal, you’ll want to propose the timeline providing more details. But for the introduction, it’s important to list how long the project will take.
Suppose a potential client just read a business proposal that had the project done in one month. You, on the other hand, think it can be done in two weeks. Stating that in your introduction will keep the prospective client engaged.
Before You Begin
Again, everything in the introduction should be focused on how you plan to help the client. Therefore, each item discussed in the introduction should answer:
- How does this point relate to the needs of the potential investors or potential clients?
- What benefits does this point provide?
- How much experience or knowledge do you have about the expertise?
- Can you answer potential questions that clients may propose?
Every point in your introduction should answer each of these questions. This is a foolproof way to keep readers engaged. It will also weed out potential clients who might not be a great fit for your freelancing services.
Examples and Design Tips
The proposal’s design relates back to the freelancing expertise you’re working with. If you’re creating a business proposal for freelance design, it’s important to spice up the design of the introduction. If you’re creating a business proposal for SEO optimization, then it should be focused on writing.
There should be fluid design tactics throughout the entire proposal. Like everything else, these start in the introduction of the proposal.
Along with that, it’s important to remember that this is your first impression! The introduction should be free of grammatical errors. It should also be well-written and professional. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. Even if the rest of the proposal is absolutely outstanding, a grammar issue in the beginning will set you up for a loss.
Creating a business proposal is vital to landing clients and increasing cash flow, so don’t let yourself fall behind from the get-go. Start your proposal with a strong introduction. This is the first time a prospective client will be reading your work. Be sure that your introduction includes the following before sending it off:
- Introduce yourself and how you’re going to help the client.
- Address the issue at hand and the approach you’ll take to complete it.
- Give a basic timeline for the prospective client.
These three aspects are the most important things to remember when designing your proposal introduction. Along with that, just remember to tie in your personality traits. The art of a business proposal is in your ability to build a relationship through the writing. Therefore, being yourself should be one of the key takeaways from this entire article. If you feel confident in your work and business plan, so will your prospective client.
Brandt Sohn is a copywriter for Indy, a project management software that helps freelancers organize and manage their businesses. In his free time, he writes articles to pass on his knowledge and first-hand experiences from freelancing.