Why write a proposal?
As a financial advisor, you have to know how to write a proposal. Written proposals are a powerful tool for the financial advisor. They are used to share solutions, business plans, or sales pitches with prospective clients. Proposals are also often used to close deals, and are a great way to do so when a prior conversation or meeting with a prospect did not lead to a concrete opportunity. Proposals add a dose of formality, and can highlight your industry knowledge, initiative, and dedication.
Proposals are always initiated by you. To be successful they generally require extensive research.
When should a proposal be used?
This sounds obvious, but:
- after a meeting
- after a conversation
- after an email chain
If you find a prospect you feel a connection with, it is best to always go on the follow up.
What does a proposal look like?
Proposals can take the form of a personally addressed letter, a sales document, or a combination of both. Both are either emailed or mailed, though a sales document is best used in a meeting.
How to write a proposal?
Here comes the hard part. Writing a proposal requires thorough research – more thorough than a quick Google search. Read publications, get updates or information from your network, in addition to trusting the traditional Google search. Your document should be concise and to the point. Avoid flowery language and show, don’t tell. Do not talk complimentary about yourself, but rather show how you can add value.
Include the following:
- Add a personal touch – remind the reader about a past meeting.
- Assessment/analysis for example. A competitive analysis, or introduce a new strategy and how it plays into that organization/individuals SWOTs.
- Play into your strengths – show how your expertise adds value.
- Play up your track record of success, and show why you’re credible
- ROI - include numbers
- Your document is not longer than two pages long (one page is preferred) - keep it concise.
- You submit your proposal shortly after the meeting, by mail/email or, ideally, in a second meeting.
- You talk business. Show results, facts and figures.
- Your proposal is balanced, and well supported by examples or references.
- To follow up – the onus is on you
Proposals can be a challenge, but their professional, formal nature and ability to convey your value proposition make them an important tool in your financial advisory’s tool box.
Here is a link to some calculator tools online that can help you with your proposal. Both free and paid.