Unless you’ve been under a rock in your business, you have likely heard this: “Just send us a proposal.” And, if you’ve heard that and follow suit by sending a proposal you likely also heard this: nothing. Because the average proposal sits in a pile on a desk that the reviewer just somehow never seems to get around to reviewing.

Sound familiar? Well, it definitely sounded familiar to Isabel, whose question we are featuring in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV:

“Hi Darnyelle. I heard you on an interview recently and you talked about proposals and engagement letters – what is the difference and when is it appropriate to submit one or the other?”

Check out my response to Isabel here:

As I share in the episode, a proposal is an impersonal summary of what you feel the client’s challenge is and the solution you would offer. Notice I said feel – because 9 times out of 10, you haven’t actually had a conversation with the decision maker to get the clarity you need to really help them. An engagement letter, on the other hand, is based on a conversation where you clearly understand the needs of your new prospective client. During that conversation you take your time and ask the key questions to clearly understand the Situation, the problem, the impact of the problem and their needs pay off – what’s in it for them when you swoop in and save the day.

If you’ve spent all of your time submitting proposals and then find yourself chasing prospects down to get an answer and you want to shift, try these three tips:

1. Ask to schedule a meeting to get a clear understanding of their problem so that you can accurately suggest the best solution to save them time, money and energy right now. Yes, you literally want to say those words and here’s why: the average decision maker is spread way too thin doing way too many things. By helping them to see that this meeting will actually bring resolution, they will be anxious to meet with you.

2. If they still ask for a proposal in lieu of a meeting, start by telling them you don’t have enough information to write them a proposal. This will get their attention and give you the opening to request a meeting to learn more about them to create a solution that will position them to get results at an accelerated pace. This is a courageous approach to standing out from the other business owners that will just color within the lines. If done successfully, you’ll not only win the meeting, but you’ll get the engagement too.

3. If following the meeting, they still want a “proposal” from you, send them your engagement letter, an abridged proposal, but don’t send it blindly. Instead, schedule a follow up meeting to review it with them. Here’s the thing: if you send it in without a follow-up meeting it may just sit on a desk.

So, now I want to hear from you. What’s your two cents?


©2017 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.