How To Convince A Client To Sign Off On A Proposal

You have a product that you truly believe can fill the gap, and now you need to bring it to life. The right timing, a way of reaching those potential clients (such as with cold email) and of course a good business proposal.

Then, there’s the matter of convincing future clients to sign off on your plan. Proposals aren’t finished the moment you send it in- that’s just half the task completed. The other half is in getting the client on your side and have them think that it’s in their best interests to take you on your offer. 

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If you’re looking for ways on how to up your chances of success to back that great pitch, follow these steps. 

Show The Hows And Whys 

If you’ve worked the marketing front, or tried to sell a product or service before, then you’ll know that benefits are actually more important than features. It makes total sense to start the proposal with your client in mind- what they will get when they get your products or services, what will change and how you’ll deliver what’s promised on the proposal. 

Your investors will be more interested on how your idea can save them time, bring down production costs or change the business landscape. Here’s what you do- for every feature, have a corresponding benefit and elaborate on that more. Make it easy for your clients to understand and see what you can bring to the table. More importantly, the business plan should make potential investors excited about what’s to come. 

Execution should be the same way as you prepared your pitch. Rehearse, go over it slowly and carefully and keep on refining it until the presentation is well-oiled. Your close should be a natural progression to the moment the client decides to agree to your proposal. Look for telltale signs that the client is conducive to the plan to possibly seal the deal right then and there. 

Prepare To Answer Key Questions 

This isn’t an optional part of the business plan. Always prepare for objections as you won’t be able to fully address any questions or concerns that could come up. Feedback, questions and “what-ifs” are just part of the process, so make sure you’re equipped with the right answers. 

Try to anticipate the concerns that may come up on the Q&A. Put yourself in the investor’s shoes and write down answers for the most common objections. These should be short and to the point to prevent confusion. Deliver it in a confident manner so you convey trust and confidence. 

There’s another reason why you should keep the Q&A down to just a few minutes. You wouldn’t want a lengthy session as it can devolve in arguments or clients creating on-the-fly solutions that put control out of your hands. 

Follow Up With Clients 

The golden rule is to keep following up until you get a definite, straightforward response. Don’t assume that they’re not interested if nothing happens after trying once. There are various reasons for the non-response, and it could be that they’d want to speak to you over the phone or in person rather than email. 

Call to address any hesitation and see how you can convince your investors to sign up. Follow up to get a clear answer, even if it’s a no. 

Add Great Sign-Off Solutions 

Old-fashioned business plan sign-offs are, well, outdated. Today, investors expect startups to provide easy, intuitive and convenient solutions, including sign-off procedures. 

Instead of sending the form via courier or email and having your client scan, print or fax it back, make it available online and with a secure signature platform. If you can, use web-based proposal templates which are flexible and viewable on browsers for a faster sign-off (and less nail-biting). 

Set Soft Deadlines 

Believe it or not, deadlines are great motivators that work in business proposals as well. It’s one way of saving time and effort making numerous follow-ups when you know that your investors will have an answer by X date. 

Make it less intimidating by creating boundaries that are within your investor’s needs and set timelines. This can make them react and get you an answer to your proposal in a timely manner. 

Make Clients Feel Like They’re Part Of The Team 

Start working on business proposals in collaboration with your client’s goals and objectives. This way you get them involved with your project. You could have the perfect proposal template from Qwilr or a killer sales pitch, but chances are that the plan or pricing structure will be modified when the investor takes a good look at it. Clients who have had a hand in the plan won’t quickly reject the proposal because they feel a sense of ownership. 

Follow these steps and you’ll have a greater chance (and a more pleasant) business proposal experience. Be professional, confident and clear so you can close the deal on your own terms.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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