How We Used Proposify to Triple Our Close Rates

 
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You have sat through hours of phone meetings with your prospective client.

You double and triple-checked all the information to make sure you understand the full scope of the project.

Then you wrote up a project plan, and priced it out accordingly (while second guessing yourself every step of the way, of course).

Then you spend endless hours writing it all down. This is hardly the first time you’ve written a proposal, so you’ve got a long-winded Microsoft Word template that’s so stuffed with legal jargon that you barely understand it at this point.

You scour through your proposal page by page to customize it for this specific client and this specific project. It seems like on every pass through the proposal you find one more instance of “[INSERT CLIENT NAME HERE]” or “[INSERT PROJECT QUOTE HERE]” that you missed on the first round of edits.

Proposal writing has, historically, been a tedious, long, and miserable process.

That was my method for putting together client proposals a few years back. I HATED doing proposals! The thought of having to create a new proposal filled me with anxiety and dread because I knew — and I had the data to back me up — that after spending upwards of 8 hours perfecting my proposal, there was still an 80% chance that it’d be turned down.

That’s right, my close rate for proposals had reached an all time high of 1 in 5. Not great, considering that I was usually sending proposals to qualified prospects.

However, that wasn’t the the worst part — what most filled me with anxiety was the number of days it took for me to get the darn proposal signed.

I’d mail out the proposals to my clients if they were outside of my local area, or deliver them in person if they were within driving distance. I’d march right up to my prospective clients and slam my 24+ tome of a proposal on their desk and smile at them, before inevitably being told that they’d have to read through the proposal before signing it.

Then it was time for the waiting game. I’d cross my fingers, and a few days would go by without any response.

Then a week.

I’d usually send a follow up email — something along the lines of, “Hey! Just wondering if you’d had a chance to take a look at the proposal. Once it’s signed we can get started!”

Which would almost always be replied to with “Hey Collin! Things have been super busy around here and I haven’t had a chance to look it over yet. I’ll be in touch soon!”

Once I got that message I knew that my odds were only 1 in 5 that my prospect would ever contact me again.

And can I blame them? Of course not! I’d shoved a giant proposal mess in front of them that nobody wanted to read, and by the time they got around to the tedious task, I wasn’t around to answer any of their questions.

Then it dawned on me that just as proposal writing had become a giant pile of hard work for me, I’d also made it a miserable experience for my clients.

It was around then that I saw an ad for Proposify, and they promised me something that I believed was impossible: a painless proposal process that actually WORKS.

Proposify’s website explained that the key to writing effective proposals was to keep them short and sweet, and to make it easy for the client to sign off using legally-binding online signatures.

Whoops. I had some work to do on my proposals.  

Proposify developed a software to make this process streamlined and, for this nerd, surprisingly fun. It takes all those instances of “[INSERT CLIENT NAME]” and “[INSERT PROJECT QUOTE]” and lets you fill them out once, before it auto-populates the rest of the document for you.

Beyond that, they have a library of done-for-you proposal templates designed to close, and an editor that lets you build your own from scratch if that’s what you prefer. Plus about a bazillion other sanity-saving features.

While I was super impressed the software, I was even more excited to find out that Proposify is a Halifax-based company pushing innovation in my home province (while I live and work in Florida now I grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada! So I’m always rootin’ for companies making it big in my old stomping grounds).

After using their product as a core component of my business for half a year, I had the chance to hop on the phone with Proposify’s Co-Founder & CEO, Kyle Racki. He told me his story of how he started off as a web designer, and went on to pursue his dream of starting a software company.

It was a great conversation, and I felt super inspired afterwards.  

Perhaps one of the most important things that Proposify does is that it makes it ridiculously easy to follow up with your client.

Proposal design AND your sales process are both a vital part of any sales strategy. Many people forget this. The prospect that you’ve worked so hard to acquire has just handed over their time and attention, and they can disappear into the deep dark abyss if you don’t stay in contact.

Not knowing when to follow up with my clients was a huge contributor to my low close rate. So I started paying attention to Proposify’s notifications of the exact moment that my clients were looking at my proposals, and also what sections of the proposal they were spending the most time reading.

Now, smart follow-up is our secret sales-closing weapon. Using data gleaned from Proposify, we’re able to predict and answer client concerns BEFORE they even ask. And do you know what? That one trick alone was enough to nearly double our close rate. As soon as I made that one simple change, more than half my proposals started closing.

That’s because following up with your client immediately after they view your proposal is a great way to build trust and a way for you to connect. It also helps the them work out whether or not they want to do business with you.

PRO TIP: If a client ever mentions with surprise that they were just reading your proposal, respond with a “Well, I guess it was meant to be!” It’ll kickstart your conversation with positive energy.

As I’ve been using Proposify for years now, I’ve discovered loads of other sales-boosting tricks that I’ve since implemented. Thanks to Proposify, our close rate is at a healthy 60% (and it continues to improve every quarter).

If you’re interested in trying out Proposify yourself, you can nab a 14-day trial at this link.

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