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Tailoring Your Consulting Proposals

When it comes to business and marketing consulting proposals, there is no one size fits all, standardized approach that will enable you to create an outstanding proposal and win the contract. Since each problem is unique, each proposal needs to be tailored to best solve that particular problem.

Here are a few steps you can apply to create unique proposals for each problem.

Clarify the Business Problem
The first step in the process is of course, to find out as much as possible about the problem. Providing an effective solution to any problem is based on a proper understanding of the situation and the desired result.

Speak to the client, visit their company if necessary, to gain your own insight, and only then can you start to tackle the solution.

Examine the Need
Your client may approach you with a specific need, for example, improving productivity in a factory. When you visit the premises however, you may find that the actual issue is a lack of co-ordination in the ordering and stores department, which results in reduced productivity.

In this instance, you would approach the client with a different solution, because the need is different. Making sure that you have a clearly identified and correctly assessed need is therefore critical in providing an effective proposal, and carrying out a successful project.

Get to Grips with the Details
Being vague and brief in your proposals may be tempting, as it saves time, but by detailing everything, from the problem, to the analysis methodology, to the resolution and implementation you have planned gives your client a better understanding of the process.

If changes to the scope occur halfway through the project, which is frequently the case, you then have a baseline from which to work, both in terms of addressing the problem, and if there is a cost implication!

For similar reasons, break your cost estimate on a detailed list of the components. That way, if and when things do change, and you need to adjust your cost, you have a base from which to work, and a negotiating tool! A lump sum price based on a vague proposal will not hold water when price increases come into play!

Focus on Results
A good proposal will detail the results of the project – return on investment, money saved, or increases in revenue are good examples of results you will provide. Any measurable result that will come from your solution and its implementation will be a focus area for your client.

While these are certainly not all of the factors that are involved in developing a good proposal, you should certainly pay attention to them. The best idea however, is to put yourself in your client’s shoes. What do they want? How is that best achieved? How can you convey your solution to them in terms they will understand best? What would convince you, if the roles were reversed, to accept your proposal?

Applying all of these concepts, and always keeping the clients unique needs in mind should lead to successful business consulting proposals.


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