The way you present your business to others will determine whether they hire you. Do a sloppy job and they’ll certainly not trust that you can deliver. Make the proposal too complicated and your prospect’s brain will freeze and he’ll opt to move on to the next service provider.
A properly structured quote or proposal for services can help you land the deal and help you make money writing. As a freelance writer, a good quote is an essential part of your arsenal.
So how do you structure a quote or proposal when you want to offer your services?
The first thing you want to do is make sure you let the prospect know you can help address whatever problem she has come to you for. Then give a brief overview of how you’ve helped others or how your company provides this service to a range of clients. Provide a link to a portfolio page, if you have one, or simply list three or four relevant client types or projects you’ve worked on. The purpose here is to validate the fact that you have experience and know what you are doing. If you do not have experience with the exact project type the person has come to you for, but you know you can deliver, then draw on relevant experience you gained on similar projects.
For instance, if you are quoting a press release but you’ve not written any press releases for clients, then you can mention articles you’ve written and had published. This shows that you know how to write in a specific way and get published or gain publicity — the thing that a press release is designed to do. So this relevant experience helps.
The part of the quote where you are sharing your experience should not be long — a sentence or two will do.
Next, you’ll want to include a line or two about why you are the perfect person to hire for this project. (You don’t have to use that language. You can say, “I help clients clear their to-do lists, complete projects quickly, and become more efficient.”) The point here is to remind the person that hiring you will help do several things — save time, save money, save a headache.
Then let the person know you are presenting a quote below, based on the conversation or email exchange the two of you have had. And clearly instruct the person on what to do to sign up. “To sign up, please do ‘x.’” This is the most important part of your quote.
Present the quote. I suggest going with a tiered quote. I usually do a three-tiered quote. That way, you give your prospect a choice of options, rather than one take-it-or-leave-it option. This helps the person review the options based on his budget and make a selection. You increase your chances of closing the deal when you provide multiple options. But there is a catch. You can’t give too many options. Too many options confuse. And confused people don’t buy. So stick to two or three options.
Explain what is included at each price point, and of course, give the price you are charging.
Include some basic info about how payments will be handled. For instance, does the person pay for everything upfront? Are payments split into installments? Does the person pay everything at the end? (Not what I recommend). Do you accept checks, credit cards, etc.?
I send quotes in the body of an email. I find this works best. Many people don’t like to open email attachments, so if you send your quote as a Word or PDF attachment, you are adding one unnecessary step that can cause your prospect to pause or not open the quote at all.
You can refine your quote formula as you gain experience, but this basic structure will help you provide the information your prospect needs to make a buying decision.
You want to provide enough information to answer questions and help the person make an informed decision, but not so much info that the quote is unnecessarily long and overwhelming.
A well-written quote does take some time, but it is well worth it when you land the deal. It’s just that important. So use this info to structure your quote. You can boost your writing income and make a living writing.
What is the best way you’ve found to provide pricing info to prospective clients?