Win New Clients with this Consulting Proposal Template and Proven Tips

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You want a proposal that confirms the agreement you and the prospect have already come to. It should confirm: solutions, expectations, responsibilities, dates and fees. 

This proposal template and tips that will get read and will be put on the top of the stack for final decision.

This proposal template is not a sales or marketing vehicle. Before the proposal you should have already met with the prospect, defined their issues and impacts, and come to agreement on what needs to be done.

An excellent way to understand the client’s situation and problem are to use the Discovery/Strategy Session structure and questions used in the course’s section on Selling Consulting Services. These are proven structures and questions you should use when meeting with your prospect or new client.

To see blogs on these sales methods, click here,

Click > Best Questions to Ask Consulting Clients in a Discovery Session

Click > The Best Interview Structure for Selling Consulting Services

Click > The Best Interview Questions for Selling Consulting Services

Tips on Writing a Consulting Proposal

A long, tedious, detailed consulting proposal will not win the business. You should have already come to a consensus with the prospect on what needs to be accomplished.

Your proposal should be a tight, concise synopsis of what you have discussed and agreed to in the Discovery/Strategy Session.

Here are a few tips for writing your proposal,

  • Keep it client solution oriented.
  • Keep it short, two or three pages. No more than four pages.
  • Briefly explain their situation, the problems, and the impact of consequences. Keep it brief.
  • Add insights and options from your Discovery/Strategy Session document to show how deeply you understand their situation and problem.
  • Include a short table of responsibilities and timeline as an addendum.
  • Give a succinct background of your team (if you are using a team).
  • Briefly state proof of your authority. You should have already proven your authority in your initial meetings. 

 Additional tips are in italics in each section of the template and appendix.


Cover Letter Template

Prepared for: <Client Name, Company Name>
Prepared by: <Consulting Business>

Date: <Date>

<Client Name>
<Company Name>
<Address 1>
<Address 2>

RE: <Type of Consulting> Consulting Agreement

Dear <Client Name>,

During our meeting on <date> I understood that <Company Name> needs to resolve the following issues,

  • <Issue 1>
  • <Issue 2>
  • <Issue 3>

With the experience and expertise of <Consulting Business> we can efficiently reach your objectives,

  • <Objective 1>
  • <Objective 2>
  • <Objective 3>

We are unique in consulting and resolving these issues because of our,

  • <Experience in this field>
  • <Proprietary solutions>
  • <Multicultural background>

We look forward to working with you and building success for <Company Name>.

Sincerely,

<Your Signature>

<Consulting Business>


Proposal of Services

Summary

This is an opportunity for <Company Name> to <grow, expand, pivot, increase market share/efficiency/production, increase morale, etc.>.

<Company Name> currently faces <Issue 1>, <Issue 2>, and <Issue 3> that is causing <Problem 1>, <Problem 2>, and <Problem 3>. These issues are preventing <Company Name> from reaching its potential in <XYZ>.

During our Discovery Session we identified <five> objectives. When we help you reach these objectives <Company Name> will significantly improve their <production, efficiency, expansion>.

<Consulting Company> is a proven expert with deep knowledge, experience, and <your consulting differentiators> in the areas of <problem area/industry>. Our experience includes <one>, <two>, and <three> as well as having <proof of authority>, <proof of authority>, and <proof of authority>.

Tip: Keep the main portion of your proposal to two or three pages. It is not a Statement of Work, but rather a statement of what value you will add to the client.

Tip: In three or four paragraphs succinctly state the prospect’s situation, their objectives and how your consulting is are uniquely qualified to help them. Let them know you heard and understand them. Let them know you are the best solution. Keep it tight.

 Objectives

From our discussions we identified the key objectives in this project as:

  • Objective Title 1
    Two line description
  • Objective Title 2
    Two line description
  • Objective Title 3
    Two line description
  • Objective Title 4
    Two line description
  • Objective Title 5
    Two line description

Tip: Larger projects usually involve multiple objectives. Succinctly describe each major objective. Name the objectives and reuse those names in describing activities and success metrics in later parts of the proposal.

Tip: A sample objective is short and well-defined, for example,
“Create a SWOT report using executive experts and brief the executive team on findings.”
“Build a prioritized list of the five (5) best partners for expanding our mid-West distribution network.”

Success Metrics

Success will be defined by reaching these metrics and targets:

  • <Success Metric 1>
  • <Success Metric 2>
  • <Success Metric 3>

Tip: Use discrete, measurable numbers and dates when possible. Example success metric, “Sales people will be able to develop, refresh, and maintain a list of 50 qualified prospects with two hour work per week.”

Return on Investment or Mission Impact

Single Project ROI/Impact

The Return on Investment (or Mission Impact) for this project is expected to be,

Activity
Decrease production time by 25% on Framus products

Impact
12% decrease in production costs on Framus line

Completion Date
 May 14, 2023

Tip: Your job as a consultant is to increase value for your client. In a for-profit business show this with a Return on Investment.

Tip: In HR, cultural, or non-profit activities it can be difficult to show measured results. In these “soft” cases use improvements in accomplishing the “mission.” Some HR and culture projects can use measures such as turn-over rate, customer satisfaction, survey results, etc. Try to use measurable numbers at specific dates.

Tip: Calculate bottom-line impact by working with the company's people or by using industry standard models to estimate the ROI, for example,

Employee turn-over is expected to decrease by 30%. That means savings of $150,000 in retraining and $1,200,000 in lost production. The impact on this department will be a 450% ROI.

Multiple Alternative Projects and Fees

The Return on Investment (or Mission Impact) for each activity and objective are expected to be,

Activity          Return on Investment           Completion Date
Activity 1                     ##%                               mm/dd/yyyy
Activity 2                     ##%                               mm/dd/yyyy
Activity 3                     ##%                               mm/dd/yyyy

Tip: If your proposal includes multiple alternative solutions you may need to create a simple table showing the ROI/Mission Improvement for each alternative.

Your Investment

Single Project Fee

The <Project> will begin on <Date> and will be completed by <Date>.

Payment will be <Payment Terms> due on <period> paid to the account of <Consulting Company> at <Bank Details>.

Tip: If you are proposing a single fee for all activities in the project, use a single fee in the payment terms.

Tip: Include in payment terms specific “No Later Than” dates of payment. What is the recourse of late payments? (Who do you contact if payments are late or wrong? State that the project will be paused if payments are more than X days delayed.) I personally know of two consultants who were stiffed by large companies and forced to accept much smaller payments than the agree fees. If you hear the client is having difficulty making payments stay alert and do not continue work until paid.

Multiple Projects and Fees

Activity/Deliverable           Project Fee                 Value Bonus*

Activity 1                              $##,###                      $##,###

Activity 2                              $##,###                      $##,###

Activity 3                              $##,###                      $##,###

* ROI success metrics

Tip: If you need to list fees for separate activities or costs to complete project activities, use a table. Beware of specifying hourly rates. Using hourly rates can cause some managers to micro-manage your hours and projects. You are not an hourly temp worker. You are being paid for your results, expertise and efficiency.

Approach(es)

<Consulting firm> will use the following approaches to reach your objectives. These approaches include:

  • Action Item 1
    with two or three sentence description
  • Action Item 2
    with two or three sentence description
  • Action Item 3
    with two or three sentence description
  • Action Item 4
    with two or three sentence description

Tip: Write a one or two line description for each Action or Deliverable describing how you will use industry best-practices, proven methodologies, and standard deliverables proven for this situation and industry. Keep it short.

For example, if this proposal is for corporate strategy you might use a description like:

  1. Facilitating executive teams through a SWOT analysis
  2. Leading executives to consensus in a Balanced Scorecard meeting
  3. Writing up the BSC
  4. Working with operational managers and team leads to define objectives, projects, and measures.

Tip: Do not describe alternatives you did not discuss during your Discovery Session.

Tip: If you have been asked for multiple approaches, then create multiple sections (usually no more than three) each showing the Action Items needed, dates, fees, and return on investment.

Guarantee

Tip: Please refer to your own business attorney for advice on a guarantee. Please consider:

  • What are the recourses if the client is not satisfied?
  • If your project is overdue?
  • If the client demands multiple solutions or alternatives?

Signatures

Date:


<Consulting Business>                               <Company Name>
<Your Name, Position>                              <Client Name, Title>

____________________________                         _______________________________
Consultant                                                    Company Officer

 


Appendices

Tip: If you need to add details or considerations, such as additional actions you have found essential to this type of work, include them as brief line items in the appendix. Keep the main proposal short and concise. Remember, this is not a sales document, you should have already converted the client in your meetings.

Schedule of Activities and Deliverables <Optional>

<Consulting firm> strongly believes in well-defined objectives, measures, responsibilities, and timelines. As soon as possible we will work with all stakeholders to develop a realistic and robust Statement of Work defining timelines, responsibilities, actions, and deliverables. Our initial estimates for project activities are,

Activity/Deliverable                            Start Date                               Completion Date
Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 3

Tip: For complex or extensive activities and deliverables you may want to include a chart showing start/end dates.

Responsibilities <Optional>

A complete Statement of Work created in collaboration with the stakeholders will allow us to define responsibilities, tasks, and deadlines for all involved. At this point responsibilities appear to be:

<Consulting Business> will:

  • <Responsibility 1>
  • <Responsibility 2>
  • <Responsibility 3>
  • <Responsibility 4>

<Client Company> will:

  • <Responsibility 1>
  • <Responsibility 2>
  • <Responsibility 3>
  • <Responsibility 4>

Tip: If you have completed a Statement of Work (SOW) attach it. If you use our Discovery/Strategy Session method and shared document, it is fairly easy to have a second client meeting involving stakeholders. At that meeting you can do a first pass on an SOW. If you have not developed a consensus SOW, then estimate this and state that it is an estimate and that it will be reevaluated after completing a robust SOW with stakeholders.)

The Team <Optional>

For certain activities and expertise <Consulting Company> will use specialized knowledge and skills. Members of our team include:

Name 1          Programmer       www.linkedin.com/in/imaprogrammer
Name 2          Trainer                 www.linkedin.com/in/imatrainer
Name 3          Tech Writer          www.linkedin.com/in/imawriter

Note: If this project involves subcontractors that you manage and are responsible for, then include a brief description of their qualifications. You may want to link to their LinkedIn profiles for brevity and depth.

 

 

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