Introduction:

A consulting proposal outlines the working relationship between the consultant and the client so that both parties can stay aligned and understand the other’s expectations.

It’s a document sent from a consultant to a prospective client describing a job they wish to take on and the conditions under which they will do so. 

It's important to use this 'Consulting Proposal Template' checklist alongside the proposal document you wish to submit, to make sure you include all the required information. 

As these types of proposals are usually submitted after the consultant and prospective client have discussed the job at length, make sure the proposal is personal and short. Use personalization wherever possible, and try to keep the document to two pages, max.

Process Street is super-powered checklists. It’s the easiest way to manage your recurring tasks, procedures, and workflows.

Create a checklist template and run individual checklists for each member of your team. You can check tasks off as you work through them, set deadlines, add approvalsassign tasks, and track each team member's progress.

You can also connect to thousands of Apps through Zapier and automate your workflows even more.

Enter your details

Enter your details in the fields below. 

Enter client details

Enter details about the client who will be reviewing your proposal in the fields below. 

Pre-Proposal Tasks:

Study the brief

Upload the brief, study it carefully, and list out the key requirements in the fields below.

Research the client

The more you know about the client who will be reviewing your proposal, the better you can tailor your proposal to meet their requirements.

Look at the following sources of information to find out more about your client:

  • 1
    Their website
  • 2
    LinkedIn profiles
  • 3
    Annual reports
  • 4
    Success stories of previous grants
  • 5
    Staff biographies

Answer the following questions to make sure you know your client inside out: 

Call your client

Call {{form.Client_Name}} to discuss the proposal in detail. 

This a great opportunity to develop your relationship with your potential client. Use it to gather insight about the consultancy work they are looking for and to get their recommendations on how you can best meet their requirements.

Record their recommendations in the field below. 

Define the problem/need

Using the information gathered in tasks 5 - 7, think about the purpose of your proposal.

Answer the following questions to get your thoughts together so you can begin writing your proposal with some clear direction. 

Plan your proposal

Proposals are often organized into distinct sections. These sections can have different titles depending on the guidelines specified by the organization, but they frequently serve the same purposes.

Review the guidelines to see if they have specified a structure to follow.

If they have asked you to follow a specific structure, make sure you have a plan for each section they have requested.

If they haven’t specified a structure, list out what you might include in the following sections:

Choose a title

Your proposal title needs to be catchy, descriptive, informative and pre-dispose the reader favorably towards the proposal.

Brainstorm potential title ideas and record them below.

Run each title option through the below criteria and choose the final title by selecting the title which best meets the criteria. 

Record your final title in the field below. 

  • 1
    Is it concise?
  • 2
    Is it descriptive?
  • 3
    Is it informative?
  • 4
    Is it catchy?
  • 5
    Does it predispose the reader, favorably, towards the proposal?

Add this to your proposal document cover sheet 

Writing the Proposal:

Write your executive summary

Your executive summary should state exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client.

After reading your executive summary, even if they don't read the full proposal, the prospect should have a clear idea of how you can help them.

This is where you should present the case for why you are the best consultant for the job, and give the client the key message of the proposal.

Focus on the conclusions you want the client to reach after reading it.

This is what you planned to include in your executive summary: {{form.Executive_Summary}}

Make sure your executive summary includes the following: 

  • 1
    A statement of the problem/need for your consultancy
  • 2
    The purpose of your consultancy
  • 3
    The goals or objectives you will achieve through your consultancy
  • 4
    The significance of your consultancy

Describe why they should choose you

In this section, include vital details about you and the consultancy services you offer.

This is what you planned to include in the company overview: {{form.Why_Choose_You}}

As a guide, make sure this section in your proposal document answers the following questions: 

  • 1
    Where are you located?
  • 2
    What do you specialize in as a consultant?
  • 3
    What do you hope to accomplish as a consultant?

Write your need/problem statement

This section provides you with the opportunity to show the client that you have a clear understanding of their needs, or the problem they need help solving with your consultancy services.

Develop a clear, concise description of the problem or situation in the need/problem statement section of your proposal document.

For example, you could describe the problem's impact, both in social and economic costs and show that with your consultancy services, you could change the way people live.

You must convince the client that the consultancy services you can offer are essential for them.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Problem/Need_Statement}}

Confirm your consultancy solution

In the solution section of your proposal document, define what will occur as a result of your consultancy.

Make sure your proposed solution is customized to the client's needs so they know you've created this proposal specifically for them.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Solution}}

To make sure your solution is clear, concise and customized to the client's needs, answer the following questions before you write up the solution section in your proposal document: 

Include your experience

In your proposal document, be sure to include relevant qualifications, awards, case studies, client testimonials, and information from previous consultancy projects to showcase your experience, demonstrate why they can trust you to deliver and prove why you're the best choice.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Experience}}

Confirm the budget

Provide a breakdown of all direct and indirect costs involved in your consultancy package in the budget section of your proposal.

Include costs that directly relate to your consultancy services such as research and time with the client.

Include indirect costs that are not directly identified with your consultancy services, including travel and legal expenses. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Budget}}

Ask for feedback

Include a feedback section in your proposal which details how the client can provide feedback on your proposal.

This proposal is a two-way document, meaning both parties should have a say in the content it includes.

Clarify your terms & conditions

Your terms & conditions are essentially a summary of what you and the client are agreeing to if they accept your proposal. Make sure you go into specific detail about timings, pricing, and payment schedules.

Upload your terms & conditions below and make sure you send them to your lawyer before adding them to the proposal.

Send terms & conditions to lawyer

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Clarify your terms & conditions
    Will be submitted

Include a key CTA

Give clear instructions in this final section so clients know how to move forward.

As an example, you could state your desire to take the conversation further. Or request an eSignature to initiate the project.

Pre-Submission Tasks:

Check the aesthetics

Read through your proposal and check for the following aesthetic/formatting errors: 

  • 1
    Is there a title page with all the necessary information describing this document?
  • 2
    Does the organization of the proposal enhance the content and make it easy to find/avoid types of information?
  • 3
    Are the margins consistent?
  • 4
    Is pagination accurate?
  • 5
    Did you use a consistent type-style?
  • 6
    Did you use sign-posting and color coding where appropriate?
  • 7
    Have you used visual aids such as charts, tables, diagrams where appropriate?

Check the structure

Read through your proposal and check it follows the EXACT structure stated in the guidelines.

If the guidelines do not specify a structure to follow, make check your proposal has the following sections at least: 

  • Title page
  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary

  • Why choose you?
  • Problem/need statement
  • Solution
  • Experience 
  • Budget 
  • Feedback 
  • Terms & conditions
  • Key CTA

Check the language

Read through your proposal again and answer the following questions to make sure your proposal is informative and interesting to read: 

  • 1
    Is the language uncluttered and concise?
  • 2
    Have you avoided using technical terms and jargon wherever possible?
  • 3
    Do you use objective language?
  • 4
    Have you avoided subjective terms?
  • 5
    Is the tone friendly but informative?
  • 6
    Is it written in a storytelling style?

Send your proposal to a "cold reader" to review

Upload the first draft of your finished proposal document and send it to a "cold reader" to review. Give them a copy of the proposal guidelines/requirements, but little other information.

Ask them to read the proposal quickly (as this is how the client is likely to view your proposal) and ask them to answer the following two questions: 

  • Do they understand it?
  • Does it make sense?

Implement their feedback

Update your proposal document and record the feedback you have received for future proposals.

Check the proposal against the brief

Read the proposal through for the final time and double-check it is aligned with the RFP guidelines.

Here are the key brief requirements: 
{{form.Key_Requirements}}

Once you're satisfied, upload the final proposal document, ready for internal approval. 

Send for internal approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Check the proposal against the brief
    Will be submitted

Submit the proposal

Submit your proposal in-line with any requirements. 

{{form.Final_Proposal}}

Sources:

Sign up for a FREE account and
search thousands of checklists in our library.

Sign up for a FREE account and search thousands of checklists in our library.