187’ing Proposals

I hate writing proposals. This isn’t a new development.

When I was the Director of Marketing for Ye Old Day Job, I wrote and submitted ~ $400 million of proposals in a year. To say I got burnt out on proposal writing is an understatement.

Nothing takes the wind out of your proposal-writing sails like:

  • Busting your tuches writing a 27-page proposal for a $$$$ project
  • Making it to the third-and-final round of interviews
  • Watching the selection committee crack open your proposal for the very first time. After taking the proposals out of the still-sealed FedEx package they arrived in three weeks ago. (Scout’s honor. I wish I were making this up.)

But I love Productized Offers. Mostly because productized offers make writing proposals (and quotes) so much more comfortable, less painful, and less time-consuming.

Proposal writing uses a lot of the ol’ creative energy. That’s especially true when your services are more of a range of skills (e.g., “I know SEO”) than specifically defined service offerings (e.g., SEO TuneUp for Shopify Stores).

Today, writing a custom proposal for a lead can take me ~3-5+ hours. Writing a quote for a productized service usually takes me ~20-30 minutes.

Every custom proposal you write involves re-defining what you’ll do for your client, re-estimating how long it’ll take, and figuring out a price. That’s a lot of work.

Switching from custom proposals to writing quotes for your productized offers makes this all rediculously easy.

See, instead of a range of skills, you have pre-defined productized offers (e.g., SEO TuneUp). When you have an initial call with your lead, you can learn more about their current situation, diagnose their problem, and decide which productized offer is right for them. After your call, you can follow-up with your lead and let them know which service you recommend.

If your lead needs a quote, you can write one up, reusing a ton of the pre-existing information you already have for your productized offer (e.g., the scope, the timeframe, the outcome, the price). Then, you can use a small amount of creative energy to reflect your lead’s current situation and problem back to them in the quote and send it off.

Altogether? Productized Offers help make consulting feel like E-Z mode. Standardizing your service offerings into productized offers makes it easier for both yourself and your lead.

Interested in succeeding with your productized offers? The excellent Marie Poulin and I are releasing our course on how to Design Your Productized Offer. Lessons will include:

  • Moving into a consultant role
  • Exploring your options for a productized offer
  • Creating (and iterating on) your offer
  • Pitching, promoting, and selling

And so much more.