4 steps to foster trust in your proposals

For your business to thrive, you need to foster trust with clients while ensuring you’re covered contractually. But how do you do it? In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about using your proposal to create trust.

4 tips for better proposals

1. Use your proposal as a marketing tool

Your proposal can help you convert from prospects into clients. It’s part of your marketing but it is also a big step in doing the deal. Give prospective clients an idea of what it’s like to work with you – using an action plan for implementing your recommendations, providing recommendations for what they can do (ie great value even if they don’t select you), and setting out their investment with clarity.

All this, plus a few testimonials from your raving fans, means that the prospective client will begin to know you more, like you more and trust you more. I’ve had prospective clients comment on how ‘friendly’ my proposal was!

2. Use warm, trustworthy language

To create trust, you need to use warm, positive language with your clients. If prospective clients trust you and like the way you communicate with them, they are more likely to want to work with you. Use language that shows you understand where they are coming from and that they can trust you – no caveats, no wriggle room and no “T&C may apply”.

3. Make your proposals bespoke

Cookie-cutter proposals don’t cut it anymore. Prospective clients function within a defined context, have unique challenges, and will have shared the outcomes that they are interested in your help with achieving. Their needs are very specific – from improving employee performance, to boosting newsletter readership, to reducing the cycle time for deals.

You need to say how your works or services will help them achieve those outcomes so they can trust that they’ll get the results they need.

4. Have easy-to-understand terms

As soon as your proposal is agreed, in English law there is normally enough certainty to act as the basis for a contract. So it’s important to ensure your prospective clients understand what’s in your terms before that deal is sealed.

Make your terms simple and easy to understand, and include them in your proposals – you can talk prospects through any areas they may be unsure of. This builds trust that you are not hiding anything or might ‘spring’ terms on them later in your relationship.

What should you do?

Don’t ignore the importance of your proposal in creating trust with prospective clients. But also remember that (under English law) a proposal can be an offer and can start the process of sealing the deal aka getting into contract. So make sure your terms are part of that proposal, and that they’re simple enough not to put a prospect off!

[Note: this article was partly generated by Castmagic based on a talk Sarah Fox delivered in January 2023, with extra input from a talk by Simon Hazeldine]

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment