What is a Consulting Proposal?
A consulting proposal acts as a sales pitch to a prospect. It outlines project scope, outline, deliverables, and payment terms.
Simply put, a consultancy proposal helps you set expectations by defining clear goals and means to achieve them. It also presents an opportunity for you to communicate your knowledge and expertise.
As you create this consulting proposal template, you want to include:
- Summary: of problems that the prospective client wants to solve
- Solution: to show how you’ll solve these problems
- Results: that you’ll achieve to meet the project goals
- Contractual information: to specify project fees and other terms
The Fundamental Elements of a Consulting Proposal Example
Adding the right sections is key to converting prospects into clients. Consider using a logical structure to present information while engaging prospects with high-quality images and personable copy.
Here are a couple of important sections to consider adding to the sample project proposal letter for consulting services:
This is the first page of your consulting proposal. Use this space to explain why you and your team are best suited to solve the client’s problem.
Keep the content on this page interesting to compel the client to dive into the rest of the proposal. Consider including these elements to create a lasting impression:
- Personalized offer: to outline how your unique approach solves the problem
- Relevant references: to mention your previous experience with similar projects
- Visuals: consider adding visually attractive callout boxes to emphasize important points
An executive project summary condenses your consultancy proposal into a briefer format. It introduces your project plan to clients and takes them through important pointers. While there’s no set length for the executive summary, keep this as concise as possible.
Consider highlighting relevant points related to potential challenges and the proposed solution. This helps clients gauge your understanding and ability to handle the project right from the get-go.
This section of the proposal lays out the key company information, including services, strengths, portfolio, and target market. Use this section to inform clients about your company’s history and track record. Here’s an idea of what to include:
- Mission: to define your goals, values, and culture
- History: to briefly recount how your consulting business has grown
- Services: to mention the range of your consulting offerings
- Strengths: to specify your consulting specializations
- Experience: of working with similar clients
If you work with a group of consultants, this is the place to showcase team roles, biographies, and individual expertise. Consider giving clients an overview of:
- Name and photo: so that they know who’s who
- Team roles: to clarify who works on what
- Brief biography: to mention the professional history of team members
- Expertise: to showcase the diverse skill set of your team
If you work alone as a consultant, use this space to explain how your skills, work experience, and professional history make you the perfect fit for this job.
A portfolio shows instead of tells and acts as a testament to your skills. That’s why it’s super important to include one in your proposal template to showcase your previous project experience. Here’s what you can include in this section:
- Previous projects: completed for clients in similar industries
- Results: of these projects
- Case studies: to show the impact of these projects
- Testimonials: from previous clients to show your credibility
- Awards: that vouch for your consulting abilities
Project scope is the foundation of your relationship with the client. It defines project activities, specific tasks, deliverables, and timelines.
Use this section to break your project visions into concrete details. Here’s an idea of what to include:
- Project purpose: to mention the strategic goals of the project
- Deliverables: to list tasks that you will be performing and what the client can expect to be updated on
- Performance: to outline key performance indicators for measuring project success
- Project timeline: to establish the project duration and milestones
Having a well-defined and comprehensive project scope limits the chance of scope creep and provides a detailed view of what’s required.
This is where you’ll outline the expected timeline of the project. This enables prospective clients to consider how this fits into their desired timeline.
Avoid being too specific at this point–you can save that for the consulting contract. A good consulting proposal gives accurate information and avoids setting unrealistic expectations. Making promises you can’t keep only leads to disappointment further down the line.
Give an overview of the entire project, and provide your potential client with enough information to make their decision. A good idea here is to avoid specific dates and instead opt for date windows.
A methodical consulting process helps ensure you and the clients are on the same page. This process breaks down the entire consulting process into manageable elements.
Here’s what you can include in this section:
- Industry discovery: for diving deep into client’s problems
- Problem statement: for understanding problems
- Data collection: for collecting data to validate key problems
- Solution framing: for moving forward with issues you identify
- Key findings: for sharing data analysis and insights
- Feedback: for sharing recommendations based on data analysis
- Support: for helping clients implement new systems
Fees and finances
This is where you talk about proposed consulting fees. Consultants usually charge a flat hourly rate or a fixed project fee. Try to understand prospective clients’ preferences during the initial conversation, and construct this section of your proposal template in accordance with your desired fee structure.
Use this space to add details on:
- Payment methods: that you accept and clients are comfortable with
- Payment milestones: to ensure everyone is on the same page about the payment timeline
- Payment terms: to outline payment terms and conditions, and consequences of not meeting them
- Acceptance: so that both parties know the next steps to enter into a contractual agreement
Here you can also include information on what happens in the case of failure to pay. Of course, you don’t want this to happen, but you need to be prepared in the case that it does.
Bonsai top tip: Find out what taxes on consulting fees you need to consider when drafting your fee schedule.
How to Write an Effective Individual Consultant Proposal
A highly effective consulting proposal increases your chance of winning consulting projects. Knowing what to include is great but you also need to learn how to put it all together.
Find out what the client wants
Whether you are a seasoned consultant or just starting out, you are competing against some big players. The only way to win consulting projects is to have a solid understanding of clients’ needs and the skills necessary for meeting these needs.
Consider organizing a one-on-one call or virtual meeting with your client before putting it all together using a consultancy proposal pdf template or individual consultant proposal sample.
Use these meetings to discover more about:
- Industry: so that you can learn industry-specific requirements in depth
- Challenges: that they are facing
- Benefits: that the clients seek to achieve with this project
- Technologies: that you’ll be using to deliver the project
- Project timeline: so that you can create a project roadmap accordingly
Highlight what sets you apart
A project consultant utilizes resources efficiently, manages budgets, and executes strategies. This means you must excel at all these qualities and show that you’re a perfect fit for the job.
That’s why it’s necessary to show you can deliver results within the budget.
Use this section to highlight the value of money for your consulting services. Also, consider talking about how your previous work experience and specialization align with the job at hand.
Include a CTA
A CTA tells clients what to do next. Mention whether you want clients to sign the consulting proposal or get on an exploratory call—that'll give them an idea of the next step in the process.
Creating a Consultancy Proposal is Simple with Bonsai
If you’re finding it difficult to create a consultancy proposal, Bonsai’s got you covered. Create dazzling consulting proposals and more using the thousands of ready-to-use and customizable templates available on Bonsai.
Here’s how to get started with consulting proposal templates and more:
- Sign up for free to Bonsai
- Select a sample consulting proposal template
- Edit and customize your proposal
You can create a consultancy proposal, send it to clients for signing, and manage it throughout the proposal lifecycle without ever leaving the Bonsai platform.
Consulting Proposal FAQs
What is a consulting proposal?
A consulting proposal is a sales pitch document aimed at persuading the client to opt for a consultant’s services. It outlines project scope, key project details, deliverables, payment terms, and other conditions.
A consultant sends a consulting proposal after talking to the client about job requirements. You can choose to create one from scratch, or you can use a consulting proposal template.
How do you write a consulting proposal?
Here are the steps to writing a consulting proposal:
- Understand the client’s problems
- Start with a cover page
- Summarize the project details with an executive summary
- Create a project scope
- Write the project outline
- Specify project deliverables
- Define project budget
- Proofread your consulting proposal
- Send the proposal with a CTA
You can easily edit consulting proposal templates on Bonsai to create winning consulting proposals.