“Mr Leonard, like I’ve tried explaining earlier, your proposal is not what we’re looking for at the moment “ said a sweet female voice with an awesome diction.
” Erm… But… but… the proposal is okay right? What exactly is the hold back? Can I talk to your…. “
“Pum.” she hung up on me.
That was the 42nd rejected proposal in less than 3 weeks.
Several dozen prospects did not even bother replying.
Of course, that was it for me, I was done. I sank into my shell!
Few days later, while surfing Instagram, I heard GaryVee chant “Quitting because you got rejected? Then you don’t deserve success you dumb f*uck”.
Ouch, that was cold. Asin very cold.
That propelled me to hit up every resource I could find concerning writing a killer proposal.
Sometimes, the reason you fail is that you DO NOT SEEK MASTERY WELL ENOUGH before executing a task.
Fast forward to this year, I trained that same company (the one I earlier got rejected) on how to effectively write proposals like a pro.
A lot of entrepreneurs never really hit it big because they keep running around average clients. No no no.
Step up your game as soon as possible and HUNT HIGH NET-WORTH CLIENTS via proposal mastery.
Some individuals who possess no skill even bag huge Government contracts simply by gaining proposal writing mastery.
At the end of this post, I’LL OFFER MY EXACT PROPOSAL TEMPLATE. So, depending on your type of business, you may need to tweak it.
The top three most sorted proposals are:
 Freelancing Proposals (for writers, coaches, social media managers, developers, government contractors, artist, etc)
 Research Proposals (Scholars, students, etc)
 Sponsorship Proposals (NGOs, Initiatives, etc)
Here’s my award-winning formula: Extra Drama + Compelling Proposal + Follow Up = Winning the Contract
Never submit a proposal without initiating extra drama. By that, I mean you’ve to make sure your proposal isn’t submitted like the rest. Let me ‘borrow you brain’ with few ideas:
✔️ Submit your proposal with a lollipop. Yes, I said lollipop. It would give the receiver a big laugh, thus storing your name/organisation in their heads.
✔️ Submit your proposal with a customized envelop that has a nice photo of the company team or MD – it gives a personalised feel.
✔️ Offer to buy the secretary lunch. See ehn, when a secretary decides to take your proposal personal, your chances of acceptance automatically sky-rockets. The director run the office while the secretary run the director.
Depending on the organisation, budget or personality any of the above ‘extra drama’ strategies works perfectly.
I went to pick up woman crush from her office for dinner. I saw her disposing a carton full of documents to the waste bin.
I later learnt those were the rejected proposals for that day. Her office receives about 20 to 25 proposals daily.
So, except your proposal is COMPELLING, it would definitely end up in the trash can.
Proposal writing have no particular format – just principles!
The following three things are what the recipient of your proposal will be looking to glean from it. Think of these as the roof, walls, and foundation of your proposal:
1. Information About You/Your Company: Who are you, what are your qualifications, and why would a potential client pick you over your competitors?
2. Demonstrated Knowledge of the Problem: Show that you’ve listened and done your research. You know what the client needs.
3. Pricing and Methodology: How exactly are you going to solve the client’s problem, and how much is it going to cost?
Here are my ten ‘DO NOTs’ Commandments for proposal writing…
1. Thou shall not fail to get to the point (especially within the first few seconds), for thee are expected to be sharp and cut right to the chase.
2. Thou shall not make any soul solve complex analysis trying to understand your points, for people have no energy to dwell on a proposal.
3. Thou shall not tweak just names and sending the same proposals to different organisations would keep getting bounced.
4. Thou shall not forget to cross-check with a third party for grammatical, lexis or structural error.
5. Thou shall not fail to overemphasize the clients return on investment (ROI) for every man is selfish.
6. Thou shall never slack in highlighting why you’re the best person for the task, but refrain from talking bad about competitors.
7. Thou shall never make the proposal about yourself or company – use less of ‘I/We’ and more of ‘You/Your’.
8. Thou shall not give scanty execution details in the proposal for you’ve to prove competence to clients.
9. Thou shall not fail to make the proposal layout visually appealing, crisp, and well-organized.
10. Thou shall not fail to give a strong call to action and request feedback for it would render all previous contents almost useless.
Verily Verily I say unto you, what shall it profit a man to gain a compelling proposal and lose the contract because he lacketh effective follow up.
If you applied the processes above, follow up should be stress less because your proposal already stand out.
Also, you’ve to develop a thick skin because no matter how ‘badass’ your proposal seems, it may still get rejected, ask Tony Robbins, Grant Cordone, Steve Harris etc.
Learning to absorb rejection isn’t optional, it’s a MUST HAVE to succeed in life and business.
What’s standing between you and your contract is simply six words – ACTION.