I’m a firm believer in the one-page proposal, of which there are several different formats. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can use depending on where you are in the sales process and who your reader is.
- A proposal to initiate a project. Let's say you've collected enough data to put together a compelling proposal, one that you really believe in and find persuasive. You have also carefully researched your prospect’s needs and are ready to pare it down to 400 words or less. This is the basic format: one-page proposal 101.
- A proposal improving on your previous one(s). This is a revitalization proposal. Perhaps your first try was overly wordy, not to the point or focused on the wrong things. It’s a second attempt to get your message across and outline a new plan for them.
- A “soft circling” proposal. This is a proposal addressing various departments or a complicated organization. It’s a bid to get everyone on board with your product or initiative by appealing to their individual issues and needs.
- A weighted-average proposal. You probably already have at your fingertips a series of previous projects that look very much like the project you’re currently proposing. By assembling a weighted average of those previous projects’ costs and benefits, you can paint a picture that your current prospect will find familiar and enticing.
Obviously, there are lots of ways to present your case. It depends on which situation you find yourself in and how you want to reach your client. Which proposal template is best for your current situation?