How to Convince A Client To Sign Off On A Proposal

If there's a science behind making others agreeable to your ideas, then there's certainly something you can do to convince clients to sign off on your business proposal.

It all comes down to several key elements that you should always include when creating, presenting and finalizing the material. Avoid having your perfect business proposal plan go to waste with these tips:

Keep Them Engaged and Looking Forward To Your Proposal
If you're simply taking the brief and planning the proposal without anyone else but you knowing, then you're probably doing it wrong.

There's something to be said about engaging others towards a certain goal. Doing the same for your clients will make them feel that they're a part of your creation. If they gave output, design recommendations and ideas, then it's less likely to be shot down.

Don't think of early reveals as a weakness. Share the work in progress and you'll be vulnerable, yes, but it gives you the chance to trust and be trusted. Have them provide feedback so you can improve it to their liking. Ultimately, the proposal is yours but it doesn't hurt to make minor tweaks, especially if you know that you stand a higher chance of it being accepted.

Bottom line? Engage your clients and keep them interested in what you're doing. Moreover, you'll have an opportunity to learn more about the business or educate them with what you have in mind. The deeper the understanding, the deeper the connection and the greater the chance of partnership.

Proofread Your Work before Submitting
Don't ruin hours of work building your proposal with a single grammar error or a spelling mistake.

You can bet your life that once the client sees it, your plan is toast.

Proofread your plan as soon as you've finished, but don't just scan it. Run it through a spell check and read it aloud. Use your professional network and have someone read it once and ask for their opinion.

Make sure that the client's name is the one you're pitching to so you can save yourself an embarrassing situation. This is especially true if you're using past business plans from the same niche. It's better to pull up a whole new template then fill in the blanks for that particular company.

Give Them a Heads Up
Sounds simple, right? But most people forget this important step or assume that the proposal itself will be the notice. It's always better to submit the business plan in person to show the client that they're important. Moreover, there's a high likelihood of landing that coveted handshake right then and there!

If handing in person is not possible, then the least you can do is call them and ask them if you can both go over your business proposal.

Set or Agree To Meet a Deadline
Deadlines are useful tools that force people to do the needed work in a certain period of time. This tactic also works when you're expecting a client to sign off on your proposal. A client beset by a deadline is more likely to ask questions, which is always a plus.

Write in your proposal that you need an answer within 30 days, or else it will be null and void. This adds a sense of positive urgency, and at the very least it gives you the answer you need to start working or move on to another prospective client. You can also make it so that you state that you agree to work on the project according to your client's needs and goals based on their timelines after X days, whichever works best.

Always Follow Up
There's a perfect window of opportunity for successful "follow-ups". At the right time, a phone call can mean the different between landing that contract or losing to a competitor.

Get a tool that can notify you once a proposal has been received or opened so you can promptly call and ask him or her to sign off. If the client seems hesitant, don't be afraid to ask what's keeping them from accepting your proposal. If they need more time, then ask for a specific date and follow up from there.

Make It Quick and Easy To Sign Off
You've gotten a "yes" from the client. What next? Seal the deal by making your sign-off so easy that it only takes a few minutes.

Time is absolutely of the essence, so instead of emailing or having a courier send it to his or her office, why not use technology?

Get an online signature system or a digital document signature so your client won't have to scan or print the document. Payment integration solutions allow them to pay for the products or services via the preferred method in just one click.

All of these can make for a faster transaction than sending the document, then paying through bank transfer. Not only can you shave off extra hours from having to come up with a proposal from scratch by using a template creation tool like this. Sign off features are included so your client can simply approve of it using his or her digital signature.

Dealing With A No
Not all proposals get a yes. It's perfectly normal to get a no even if you've crafted a killer proposal, but the least you can do is to learn from it.

Politely ask the client why you didn't get their approval. There will be several scenarios:

Too Costly. Is the asking price too high? You can still get in if you renegotiate or reduce deliverables.

The Competition Was Better. Ask for the factor(s) why they got the contract instead of you. If the client hands out the information, then you can use it for next time or do a copy and see if it works for you.

Not The Right Fit. It could be that the pain points weren't properly addressed or the plan didn't have enough punch or enthusiasm. Try to dig deeper so you can improve the next time you pitch an idea.

Use all the feedback and experience you've gained so you can craft a better and more engaging business proposal that gives you a higher chance of success.
Having a client sign off can be easy and convincing or difficult and troublesome. Follow these tips and you'll have the former instead of the latter.


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