by Aaron Beashel, Head of Marketing at Qwilr
Cover letters may seem insignificant, but they can make an impact in the event that you’re sending a business proposal.
Make the right impression by crafting a great proposal cover letter. But how does one get started?
What Are Proposal Letters, And Why Should You Use Them?
Cover letters are, for the most part formal written introductions to a client you wish to do business with.
But that’s not all, used right, cover letters add a personal touch and can lead to a more favourable response. You’ll need to include key differentiators, or how you’re the best option and present enough facts to make them want to read the business proposal.
It can be said that a cover letter can make or break a business plan proposal. Any and all effort towards making one, whether from scratch or using a template like this one, will be well worth it in the end.
When To Use Cover Letters.
As powerful as they are, cover letters aren’t needed for all business proposals.
The necessity will depend on the project’s scope and nature. For instance, a large, multi-national corporation will expect a cover letter to go along with your proposal or else it will get ignored. For informal and smaller settings, heading straight to the proposal should do just fine.
Write A Proposal Letter In 5 Easy Steps.
Having to write another piece of content may sound tiresome, but here are 5 easy steps you can follow to come up with a professional, engaging and informative cover letter.
Before you start, keep in mind that a cover letter should be short, focused and have enough facts to get the reader to jump on the actual business proposal. Refrain from filling it up with qualifications, achievements and experience, or convincing the client to hire you. That kind of content is reserved for the actual proposal itself.
Also, there should be no mention of any dollar amount or figure anywhere in the cover letter. This is a rookie mistake, and it gives busy executives a reason to not continue with your proposal plan. The only exception to the rule if when they specifically ask for it, or if a bargain price is one of your main selling point.
Step 1. Determine Your Client’s Needs.
A proposal letter largely addresses what the client is already thinking- their needs. What difficulties are they facing right now? What factors are missing that prevents them from growing?
Acknowledging the client’s needs will give them the impression that you’re already on their discussion table and that you’re playing an active role. They feel understood and are now more receptive to your ideas.
Step 2. Outline the Solution.
The next paragraph should give the client the outcome they need to solve their problems. A short, concise sentence should be fine; don’t go over in detail so you’ll have something they can look forward to in the actual proposal.
Step 3. State Your Approach.
Touch on a few details that show your action plan. Remember, the larger the project the more moving pieces it has. Give the client a picture on how you’ll carry out the solution. For the best results, you should offer a few products or services that work very well when combined together.
Step 4. Highlight Your Unique Value.
This is the time you start promoting your brand, product or service. More importantly, this part should answer the question- why should the client hire you?
List a few key differentiators and highlight what you think are the most important ones. If possible, use breaks and bullets often to make it easier to scan.
Step 5. Conclude With a Call to Action.
Your role doesn’t stop there; add a call to action and invite the reader to peruse the rest of the proposal for a more in-depth look of what you’re offering. It should be a convincing, straightforward appeal that also sets expectations on what they should do after reading your business plan.
An example goes like this – “After you’ve read the proposal, sign electronically if you accept. I’ll give you a call on Monday to answer any concerns you may have.”
The basic framework outlined above should give you a strong, compelling proposal cover letter and favourable results. More than that, don’t forget the value of formatting correctly and structuring to make everything easy for the reader. Add a company header and a stationery to convey utmost professionalism.
With just one page, you can entice your future client to take a look at what you have to offer with an open mind. So go ahead and get writing!
Aaron Beashel is Head of Marketing at Qwilr and has developed a wealth of knowledge and passion bordering on obsession. He started by co-founding a SaaS startup and has then gone on to lead marketing teams at some of the fastest-growing B2B SaaS companies in the world.