As a consultant with numerous projects, you should know how to write a consultant proposal.
To reach an agreement as fast as possible, you need to ensure that you create an effective plan and strategy that will convince the client that you are the person for the job. Let's find out more!
Note: if you want to customize a pre-made template with everything you need in a flawless proposal, try Bonsai. Bonsai's templates are simple to edit and you can reuse the template to edit and pitch to future potential clients. Claim your 7-day free trial here.
What Is a Consulting Proposal?
A consulting proposal is a formal document that a consultant will write for a potential client, discussing the project they will be working on together.
Usually, a good consulting proposal is written after the owner of the consulting business discusses the matter with the prospective client. At that point, the consultant will get an average idea of what they wish to achieve.
Once those details are done, the business proposal will reveal a description of the project, as well as some details in regard to the working conditions.
Why Do You Need Consulting Proposal Templates?
Each project you pitch to new clients will require a great consulting proposal.
You may need a management consulting proposal template or a similar on in another domain.
The problem is that if you spend all of your time writing consulting proposals, you will have less time to do the things that matter: in simple terms, doing your job.
This is where a consulting proposal template comes in handy. By following a sample consulting proposal, you may easily create a winning proposal that will get you the green light from your client.
Tips to Consider Before Writing a Consulting Proposal Template
Before starting your work on your consulting proposal, there are several things that you need to do first. These will include:
Talk to the Prospective Client
For you to write effective consulting proposals, you should know exactly what you are writing about. As a result, you should first have a chat with your prospective client.
For new clients, you may want to hold a face-to-face conversation first. On the other hand, if you are dealing with old customers whose style you already know, you may easily get away with a phone call.
Bear in mind that even if you meet face to face, you still need to call first. If you can't call, you should at least send them an email beforehand, to inquire about their consulting needs.
Understand the Client's Challenges
The better you get a grasp of your client's pain points and challenges, the better you can shape your consulting proposal.
Consulting proposals shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all kind of document. Instead, they should cater to the needs of your customer.
Even if you have to make additional phone calls, make no hesitation. The more thorough you are, the better your consulting proposal will turn out.
Mention Your Value Proposition
Consultants are not cheap, and you don't want your clients to think that your work doesn't value that much. You'll want them to know that if they decide to invest in you, they will get great results.
While a special section called "value proposition" is not absolutely necessary, you still need to be specific on how you deliver. You may use a cover page, for instance, to talk about the ways in which you will deliver results.
Ask About Project Details
A successful proposal will reflect the scope of the project, as well as all the relevant details required to keep your goals aligned. Even if it sounds like something meager, a perfect consulting proposal misses no beat.
Make sure to ask about things such as their desired timeline, the deadline, and what expectations they have from your project. Write a clear and concise proposal if you want your potential customers to turn into paying customers.
Note: if you want a pre-structured proposal example you can reference and edit, try Bonsai. Bonsai's templates are easy to customize and add all the details for a perfect pitch. Change proposals according to new projects and start sending professional looking pitches today. Claim your 7-day free trial here.
Sections of a Consulting Proposal
A business proposal for consulting services will have several sections for you to cover. These can include:
When you write a consulting proposal, you must make sure that you add some sort of greeting first. It doesn't have to be longer than two or three sentences. Simply greet the potential client, thank them for their interest, and express your wish of working together.
Sort of like an introduction, you need to write a project summary. Again, this doesn't have to be a long summary; just three to four sentences should be enough.
Talk about the nature of the project, along with the issues that you are trying to solve. A winning consulting proposal may also include some information about you and your consulting services - although make sure you don't make the entire introduction about it.
After all, your prospective client must know why they should choose you over anyone else. As a result, the introduction should include your key qualifications and strengths.
The next section of an effective consulting proposal is the project scope. Here, you will add 3-5 bullet points about the tasks or action items that you plan on taking on.
This section will include everything that you'll be doing, so it pays to be as specific as possible. If you don't make a clear outline of everything that you plan on achieving, then you risk causing headaches both for you and your client later on.
The objective section should contain the 3-5 main objectives of your project. You covered your intention, but now your potential client needs to know what value they will reap after working with you.
You won't be addressing the final products here, but rather, the results - the effect that those products will have. You will be going into the "how" of the project. This needs to be put out as early as possible, especially when you are working with a new client.
Next are the deliverables - or, in other words, the final product they will receive. If the project scope works around the "how," then the deliverables will identify the "what."
For example, at the end of the entire project, the prospective client's deliverables may be a revamped brochure collection or a redesigned website. This section should also include the proposed changes that affect the deliverables directly.
A consulting proposal should also include a timeline for every item of your project. In this particular section, you will be discussing the "when."
Here, you should not only add the final deadline of your project. Instead, you should include dates for specific items. Whether it's an office visit or the promise of a follow-up email, everything should be included there.
When filling out a consulting proposal template, you should also add the investment that the client is expected to make. You need to write down the consultant fees as well as what they include, and you should also discuss how and when you expect to receive payment.
If you have a payment portal that you prefer to use such as Bonsai Cash, then you will have to add that information there as well. Moreover, if you require a down payment or expect the payment in increments, then you may include the information in that section too.
Read our guide on how to bill for consulting services.
To make everything official, you also need to ask for a signature from your client. Make sure that you leave enough space for them to add in the date, their signature, as well as their name.
You may want to add this directly into the consulting proposal, even if your services are still in the approval stage. This way, it will be easier for you to obtain approval if they are satisfied with what you have to offer.
Note: Edit Bonsai's free proposal templates. Just sign up, personalize the pre-made template and start landing more deals. Our software lets you design the proposal with your company's colors and insert your logo. Start sending professional looking proposals today here.
Steps to Write Consulting Proposals
Aside from simply filling out the sections, there are certain steps that you need to follow when you write a winning proposal. Here is what you need to do:
Make the Cover Page
The cover page pretty much speaks for itself: it is a page that acts as a cover for your business proposal. It includes your client's same, your company's name, the date on which you sent out the proposal, and more.
If there are any other significant elements of your branding, you should add them to the cover page. For instance, your logo and other relevant information should also be there.
Write the Executive Summary
When writing a consulting proposal, the first step that you need to check is the executive summary. Here, you will be covering the pain points of the project, as well as the obstacles that you want to clear.
The executive summary should not be too long, nor too short. However, it should be detailed enough so that your client knows what you intend to do. Don't write more than a couple of sentences or bullet points, as this will seem more like a drag than a benefit to your client.
Describe Why You're the Best Fit for the Job
If you sent a consulting proposal to your client, there is a good chance that other people have already sent one to them as well. This is why you will have to convince them that you are the right person for the job and that they will not regret collaborating with you.
You may be tempted to add your experience and qualifications there, but this is not exactly what your client wants to know about. Instead, they'll want to know what they can get if they end up choosing you.
You shouldn't brag too much here; your client will end up being more bored rather than interested. Around two sentences will be enough to get your point through.
Write Down the Expectations for the Prospective Clients
Next, you need to be very specific about the outcome that your client may expect. For example, if one of your main objectives is to drive traffic to their website, this should be added to their proposal. It will be very useful for you once you start drafting your project scope.
You may want to steer clear of any generic buzzwords or jargon. If there were any particular words that you used during your meetings or phone calls, you may want to add them to the proposal.
This will help you on several fronts. First, you will be resonating with them, as you will be using words that they already know. Second, they will show that you were listening to them, in case the words came from them.
Mention What the Final Deliverables Will Be
Go back to the first time you talked to your client and look at your conversation notes. Perhaps they require a new advertising plan or a new strategy for their marketing campaign. These are also referred to as "tangible products" or "deliverables."
By adding them, your client will know exactly what they will get by working with you. This way, you will not have any surprises by the end of the project. Bear in mind that you need to briefly describe these, with only some essential details relevant to your project.
Create an Outline of the Consulting Fees
Your client needs to know precisely what to expect in terms of payments. Discuss firsthand what the fees will be - both total and individual and what each payment is for. Be clear about every fee, whether it's in regard to labor fees or material fees.
If you prefer a certain payment structure, this needs to be included as well. For instance, you may want to receive your payment in increments, at different stages of the project - in which case, you have to say exactly when and how much you expect to receive.
You also need to set an end date for when the final payment will occur - whether it's the full cost or the last payment. If you require a deposit, this should be included as well.
Make sure to add the method of payment in the outline of the payment terms. More and more people prefer debit and credit cards instead of cash, so you need to have this in mind. Use a payment platform such as Bonsai that can support you in making this kind of payment.
Specify Contract Terms on the Formal Document
Are there any specific terms that your client needs to be aware of? Whether it's in regard to the payment or the time frame of the project, all terms must be covered. The client should know what they are agreeing to. Also, there shouldn't be any loopholes to affect you throughout the project.
Write a Consulting Proposal that Is Concise
To write winning proposals, you need to be as concise as possible. Quality matters more than quantity to your clients. Make sure to keep the accuracy and readability at the highest points possible.
The last thing you want is for your client to stop reading your proposal midway, discarding it to view another business. This is why you should make sure the proposal is concise and highly engaging, to keep your client interested in your work.
Request for Feedback from the Potential Client
A great proposal is very often a two-way street - meaning that both parties should have a say in the things that it includes. As you type down the proposal or fill out a template, you must ensure that every question that your client might have is clarified.
Once it is finished, you should make sure to send it to your client for feedback. Ideally, you should build it in Google Docs or any other processor that allows shared collaborations. This way, your customer can leave suggestions and comments that can make the proposal better.
Bonsai Consulting Proposal Template
If you find it challenging or simply do not have the time to write your consulting proposal from scratch, then you may want to use Bonsai's services.
With Bonsai, you can easily get a free consulting proposal template that you may customize exactly the way you want it. You just have to sign up to Bonsai and download a template, along with a consulting proposal example to work on.
Bonsai's consulting proposal templates are well-detailed, and you may easily add the information that you need in the appropriate sections. Bonsai makes it easy for you, as you may easily have the document delivered to your potential client's email address.
Bonsai is one of the most useful consulting proposal tools. Not only does it help you with the documents, but it also aids you with the finances. If your proposal is accepted, you may use Bonsai Cash to send or receive payments.
The Bottom Line
In order to be successful, you should know how to write a consultant proposal for potential customers. If the entire document is written properly, then you may easily generate leads and bring more clients your way. If you don't want to miss anything, using a template might save you a lot of time and effort.