As a seasoned consultant working in a firm or network your experience can often speak for itself. But in the world of independent consulting you have to make a bit more of an effort to sell yourself.
Applying for a project that you would like to take on is a key part of your sales process. So you need to make sure that the proposal you write does all the things that a great salesperson would do when positioning their product or service. You should look at your proposal as a way to sell your services above any other alternatives that the client might be looking at. And, do that by making it concise, specific and personalised.
Profile: Who you are
Your profile is the best place to provide an overview of your background and skills, here you can showcase the extent of what you have achieved over the course of your career. When the client looks at your profile they should be able to glean the kind of experience you have and get a rounded impression of your trajectory. However, before you can get a client to spend a few seconds analysing your profile you need to grab their attention with a convincing proposal. This is the first contact a client will have with you, so it is important to use that opportunity to your advantage and peak their interest enough to read on.
Proposal: Why you solve this particular problem
Putting some work into your proposal writing will pay dividends. You should use the proposal as a chance to convey to the client how you will solve their problem. Remember, our clients don’t come to us because they just want someone great, they come to us because they have a specific problem that needs to be solved. The proposal is where these two things meet.
If you write ‘to be discussed’ (TBD), ‘see my CV’ or ‘refer to my profile’ on the proposal it looks as though you haven’t made the effort to make those connections for the client. You are asking the client to do the work in understanding whether you would fit their culture and project needs. What you should be doing is persuading them that they can’t solve this thing without you. And that means formulating a thought through argument and articulating it well.
Always prove your worth
With more and more experienced consultants competing in the independent world it has never been more important to be aware of the need to prove yourself to new clients. The proposal provides you with an opportunity to show the way you think and communicate. It also gives insight into your attitude to working with a client - if you work to make the experience better for them you will stand out!
For more tips on how to write winning proposals from our Consultant On-Boarding Team join our next live broadcast “How to write a winning proposal” on Tuesday 6th June at 4.30pm BST.
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