It is essential to note that there is no one way to prepare a consulting proposal, it will differ by your niche, your personality and your approach to working with clients but this is an indicative guide to what you should and could include when you write a proposal to remove any barrier to your prospective client saying yes to hiring you for the project.
It is also essential to note that a consulting proposal, a response letter, a letter of agreement (all flavours of the same document) has to lay out exactly how you will tackle a brief.
It is a professional document that will ultimately lead to a big number at the end that the client will have to sign off to hire your services, so do not include excessive pictures or quirky comments. Whatever your brand and your tone of voice is, this must be professional.
The goal of the consultancy proposal:
- Make your case
- Respond to the client's brief
- Show you understand the problem and can navigate towards a solution
- Project professionalism
- Convince the client that you are the right person for the job
- Make the proposed fee a no-brainer for the client to sign off on
Below are some of the most common elements of a consulting proposal that simply have to be there
1. Your brand logo & contact details
How else would your client get in touch to give you the job?! Make sure this includes: company name, your name, phone number, address, registered company name, email and website address.
Simple header to ensure that it is clear what your consulting proposal is responding to and to lay out what this document is for as you may have to provide a proposal, a timeline and a quote which is generally accepted will be in separate PDFs.
3. Recap the brief
Make it clear that you get what the brief is actually about and that you get what the expected outputs will be.
4. Introduce your process
Do you have a proprietary process? A specific product launch strategy? Tools that you've developed to get to the right result for the client? Tried and tested ways of doing things? Introduce them briefly here, you will go into detail in the next section.
5. Dive deeper into the process
Detail out every activity for each stage of the process, what it entails, what it will involve, what resource you will need and who else you will involve. Include a nod to stakeholder engagement sessions if possible so the client understands that you are going to be involved and take them on the journey with you, not just turn up, take the brief then email over a PowerPoint deck to the client a few weeks later.
Give an indicative idea of how long each stage will take in weeks, noting that this is indicative as you will need to get a better understanding once you are in the early stages of the project.
7. Project fees (separate PDF)
In a separate PDF include the introduction to your process along with day rate, timeline and the overall investment that the project will require.
What else would you include on your consulting proposal?