8 Questions to Ask (BEFORE you write a proposal)

So here's the thing: I've seen too many proposals lately that do very little proposing. Is yours one of them?

Maybe you don't quite realize that your proposal is a marketing tool whose job is to persuade your prospect -- in your absence -- that you're the perfect fit. 

Or maybe it's because you're afraid they won't read it if you write too much. So you focus on the deliverables and the money, but leave out all the important details about how your services will help them achieve their goals or solve their problems. 

Or maybe it's because you haven't had enough of a conversation with the prospect to even know what their goals or problems might be. 

Or maybe they said, "Just send me a proposal," and you did what they said -- because you don't want to "bother" them with your questions. 

But that's your job! It's impossible to write a "winning" proposal if you don't get your questions answered. 

What questions? Here's the beginning of a list you should have ready when talking to any prospect:

  1. What do you need and why do you think you need it? 
  2. What are your objectives for this project?
  3. Who else is involved and who is the decision-maker on this project?
  4. What is your timeframe? 
  5. What is your budget?
  6. Are you talking to anyone else? (If so, who?)
  7. What concerns would you have about working with me/us?
  8. Is there anything else I should know about it?

Whether you're a copywriter, designer, or other creative professional, it helps to have "excellent examples" to use as a model -- find my Proposal Bundles and other tools to help you price your services here.