What should be included in a consulting proposal

Posted: 18th September 2020 12:09

A consulting project proposal is a document specifying the terms of collaboration suggested by consultants to prospective clients. It often happens that people contact a couple of different consultants, to see who is the most capable of solving their problems. Therefore, a simple consulting proposal is a sales tool for sole entrepreneurs.

Closing a deal often depends on a well prepared and pitched commercial offer.

What are the steps to develop a winning consulting project proposal?

First of all, learn more about your client and their expectations for the project. Do not simply rely on an old consulting offer template: a good proposal is always tailor-made, and your client will recognize it straight away. Be sure to make a couple of calls and do some research to have your offer tailored to your prospect's needs.

Mentioning his and his company's name is an absolute must to form a more personalized bond! 

Once you have identified the key points with which to catch your client's attention, it is time to come up with a precise list of your duties, deliverables, deadlines, and specific project milestones.

Prices are an important part of any consulting project proposal. Put your client and his needs first and be honest in your pricing strategy. Let the prospects know that you care about them and the successful results of the common projects more than about simply making money. 

To make your proposal as transparent as possible, seek to include any third-party costs, e.g. advertising platforms or subcontractors, separating them from your consultant fees. Also, if your work implies some transport, rental, or restaurant costs, make sure to mention those expenses as well. Make it clear from the very beginning and try to avoid future hidden costs. Seeing the total budget will help the client better assess the project viability and plan all expenses ahead with the company’s financial department.

Finally, since you are most likely bidding against other consultants, make sure to provide a winning description of your professional qualifications and experience that make you stand out, especially for this specific project. Mention just the relevant ones.

How to structure a consulting project proposal? 

Most often a consulting proposal template is two to three pages long. Keeping it short yet detailed and compelling is a true art that comes with practice. 

Speaking of the structure of a consulting proposal example, the typical text blocks would be as follows:

1) Cover
A branded opening page mentioning your and your client's name, project title and other general information.

2) Introduction
Think of it as a business letter to your prospect. Take this opportunity to thank your prospect for their interest and trust, while trying to explain briefly why you believe that you are a good fit for their particular business needs.

3) Challenge
This is your chance to hit the right button. Make sure that you understand the client's pain points well. They are ready to pay someone who can reassure them that there is a solution. 

4) Solution
This is probably the most important part of your business consulting proposal template. Be creative and try to apply your knowledge and experience to come up with a unique solution, which no competitor would be able to match.

Be careful and do not disclose your secret sauce: chances are your ideas may be used without selecting your proposal if you share too many details about your approach. 

5) Why me
Your prospect should have no doubt that you are the best performer for the project. If you have any previous experience in solving similar business problems, make sure to highlight your approach and success stories. Keep it simple and ideally backed up with action verbs and numbers, e.g. increased the ROI by 150%.

Needless to say, it is always a good idea to ask a friend to take a quick look at your sample consulting proposal and provide you feedback. An independent look will help you see what can be further improved upon. This will also protect you from typos or any other spelling mistakes, which could worsen the client’s impression.

Using a consulting proposal template
You do not need to be a legal or sales professional to draft a successful consulting proposal. With the help of cloud-based PDF editors such as Lumin PDF, you can access hundreds of ready-made forms and templates for any kind of business agreement, be it an IT consulting proposal template or a marketing consulting proposal template. In particular, you may find useful the consulting proposal template

To sum up, a perfect consulting project proposal should be precise, comprehensive, personalized, appealing, structured, and focused on the real problem, and ways to solve it. Using a consulting proposal template coupled with some research and your unique selling points will ensure that you consistently win new clients.