A challenging part of managing a business is staying organised. Unlike a 9-to-5, if you don’t serve enough clients, you can’t pay the bills. Therefore, we spend a lot of time speaking to clients, marketing, and sending proposals. In the past, it was reasonable to submit proposals as an email attachment and then wait for a response. However, this can be challenging to manage, especially if you send out a lot of proposals. In this article, I will show you how to manage your proposals better, and convert more leads into clients.
Target the right people
When you try to target everyone, your message doesn’t cut through. This is because experts in any field are more trusted and can charge more. Instead of pitching your services towards anyone with a pulse and a credit card, focus on a niche. This enables you to tailor all your marketing material and strategy with a customer avatar in mind. As a result, you are more likely to win more business.
Some clients are very price-conscious or get in touch to check what is out there. They have no immediate need for your services. Before spending time with leads which could be used on other parts of your business, you need to develop a pre-qualification process. For instance, I have a video which explains what I do, the impact it has, and how I like to work with clients. I then include a short contact form which asks for details on a budget (range), how soon they would like me to begin working and the details of their project. After getting those details, potential clients can pay for a 1-hour call. I find that serious clients are willing to pay for this time. My client acquisition process is about 90% automated; therefore, I only speak to ‘serious’ prospects.
Qwilr is my secret weapon for automating a large part of the acquisition process. It gives me detailed analytics which helps to inform my followers.
The above system doesn’t just help my conversion rate; it also ensures that I have more time to work on growing my business.
How to create client-attracting proposals
There are some excellent business proposal templates; however, they can’t teach you how to write persuasive proposals. One of the best investments I ever made was to hire a copywriter to work on my homepage, emails and proposals. I spend a few minutes amending it to suit different clients. I read a lot of proposals which are incredibly dull and use too many industry-specific terms. If your proposal is boring, prospects won’t want to take the next step. Here are the elements of an effective proposal.
1) Take the client’s goals into account. Your proposal should highlight the benefits of working with you, and what they will gain out of the transaction. The more they stand to gain, the better.
2) Simplify your proposal so that it can easily be understood. I use Hemingway to check the my proposals for ease of understanding. Some industry terms and techniques might seem simple to you. Take the knowledge level of your prospects into account. Notably, most companies pass proposals around to other managers before reaching a decision. I saw a large jump in sign-ups when I simplified the language used.
3) On your pricing page, make clients feel like they are in control by offering different packages. In some cases, clients want to get a feel for your work before ‘upgrading’ to the full package. For instance, I always split my projects up into three stages. Therefore, they don’t need to make a substantial initial investment. In many cases, this has clinched the deal because it seems low risk.
Every successful business has a system for getting a flow of leads regularly. One of the most prominent challenges entrepreneurs face is how to get more clients. If this is an issue for you, which activities are you doing order to get more clients? Do you measure the return of each client attraction channel?
When I first started working as a consultant, I noticed that I was spending a lot of time managing my social media pages and posting ‘quality content’. However, my customers were coming through Facebook groups and my website. As a result, I shut down my social media pages (except Linkedin) and focused my efforts on SEO and posting quality content in Facebook groups daily. As a result, the number of leads I received daily tripled.
Some of my entrepreneurial friends also use cold calling to great effect. For instance, for every 100 calls, they get 20 positive responses and 10 become customers. Therefore, whenever they need 10 new clients, all they need to do is to make 100 calls. And this can easily be completed in 2 days. Some entrepreneurs lack the confidence to cold call.
There are several strategies for getting leads. Consistency of action is of more importance than the methods you choose. For instance, you could create a daily lead generation tasks list which states:
1) Write three value-packed posts and add it to Linkedin groups my target audience visits
2) Phone 30 businesses which match my ideal customer.
3) Send 50 emails
At the start of my consulting career, I had very little money so I decided to focus more on cold calls and emails to a targeted list. When the money began to flow in, I invested in SEO and courses to strengthen my lead generation system. I say this to convey that you can always start from somewhere.
Writing persuasive proposals is key to winning big clients. However, you need to back it up with a lead generation system. The key is to be consistent. Do something to help your business grow every single day. To get exceptional results, you must put in an extraordinary effort.
Photo credits: coworkinglondon.com