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Consulting Proposals: Why Time Matters

Proposal Writing Consultants

I spoke with Sophie on Thursday about hiring her for some Public Relations work. She said she’d send over her proposal on Monday. Thursday came and went without a word.

Rhonda told me about Jamie, a PPC specialist she was considering hiring to help her with online marketing. Jamie said he’d get back to her ‘tomorrow’ which turned into 4 days.

Both Sophie and Jamie share something. They didn’t get the business.

Not only that, they left a bad stench in the ‘air’ that even a spray of Febreeze® would have trouble removing.

You get the point, right?

If you’re in the market to take on new clients then be prepared to respond to a proposal quickly.

Wait a Second!

Before you go sending proposals all over the place I want to clarify. I’m not talking about a prospective buyer calling you up or emailing you and saying “can you send me a proposal…?”

Writing each proposal should take you no longer than 2-3 hrs.

Not even close.

You should never send a proposal to anyone unless, through discussions with that person, you have established that they are a true buyer and that you have reached an agreement with them on how you will work together.

Only then should you submit your proposal.

The Rule

You should send a proposal to a prospective client within 24 hours. 48 at the max and only if you’re out of town or lost in the woods.

If you’re too busy working on other projects, that’s fine. Maybe you don’t need the extra business.

But if you want to increase your chances of landing more clients than you need to get your consulting proposal to the buyer right away.

Some people suggest you send them by courier, others by email as a PDF, and still others use online services to compose and send contracts.

There is no right or wrong way here. What matter is what will set the best impression of you and be the preferred method of the buyer.

Consulting Proposal Format

Writing each proposal should take you no longer than 2-3 hrs. If you’re working on a large project or are new to writing consulting proposals you may find you need longer, and that’s fine.

You should however be using a format for your consulting proposals that you know works. And once you use it, you can continue to ‘tweak’ it and update it based on the project. Which means you don’t have to create a proposal from scratch every time.

If you don’t have a proven consulting proposal in your arsenal have a look at the Consulting Proposal Guide. It comes with proven consulting proposal templates that have won millions of dollars in consulting projects.


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9 thoughts on “Consulting Proposals: Why Time Matters

  1. Janice Ma says:

    I agree with this completely. I always respond fast, but I should do better.

  2. disqus_ZnsVF6WtAX says:

    Very True. We use 72 hours for a multilevel customized proposal with time lines

  3. Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy says:

    Right all the way! Only sometimes the proposal may take more than “the 2-3 hours” preparation time 🙂

    • Hemantha – thanks for the comment. There’s no rule of how long a proposal should take. It depends on the project. But you’re right, the more preparation you do, the more you can cut that time down. And having a proposal template and structure that you can follow each time is a great help and is very efficient.

  4. Deepak Patil says:

    I fully agree with you on responding to the clients .My experince show that the strike rate is the higest in all those propsals which were sent in first 12 hours .Please keep on sharing your valuable experince for Consulting fraternity

  5. Hemant says:

    Dear Michael, is the Consulting Proposal Guide part of your Consulting Success System 2.0 ….or is it available separately.

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