Colin, who ran a social media marketing firm, had a template that he used for proposals. He believed that proposals needed to have a lot of “heft” to be taken seriously. After all, he was trying to differentiate himself from hundreds of other social media marketing consultants in the city who were potential competitors for the same jobs, therefore it was imperative to detail his considerable knowledge and experience in each proposal to remind the prospective client of how great it would be to work with his company. That’s what Colin thought when we started working, anyway. At that point, he was getting 1/4 to 1/3 proposals approved for ongoing project work. Each new client was worth tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the business relationship.
Colin was struggling with the time it took to customize his complicated template and he was frustrated with other aspects of the process. He thought he was doing pretty well with the success rate. We focused on this segment of the business development process and in less than a month of honing his process and challenging assumptions he was making about the process, we had his 24+ page proposal template down to a lean 5 pages and his success ratio went to 7/10 that month, all from “putting that ducky down” to make his music (i.e. value proposition) easier to hear. Review your own business for obstacles that you’ve put in your own way so you can streamline your way to a more successful business, as well.