The process of putting together the proposal is akin to a rapid prototype and it will need to go through a round or two of iterations and revisions, just like our designs do. Think about this like RITE testing.
In the old days, at this point, we would just email the proposal off to our prospective client and then wait.
We don’t do that anymore and if there is one thing that you take away from this book, it should be this.
Never, ever, ever, email a proposal without walking the client through it first.
We insist on this.
Sometimes it means we can come across as being belligerent or difficult, but trust me, it’s important to the buying process and to keeping that continued open window of resistance, that you walk through this part in person. More often than not, if you skip this step and send off the proposal prematurely, you will lose the project.
We will tell our prospective clients,
the way we do business is that we need to meet with the entire team and present to them before we can release the proposal.”
Once you have a draft of the proposal, get together with your client—generally the user buyer. Walk through the parts. Confirm that you heard them correctly about the current situation. Confirm their top needs.
Review and rewrite and refine things together. Get them to rewrite the points in their own words or language.
They may need to sell this up the chain or to some of the other stakeholders on their own without you. If the proposal is in their words, they have more ownership of it and more self-interest in getting it approved. You want to give your client the tools to socialize this successfully.
Iterate the proposal after your client working session and then walk through it again with the some of the other buyers to get specific feedback and then iterate some more.
At this point you are ready to schedule your proposal presentation meeting with all the buyers you have previously spoken with.