Five Ways to Digitalize Your Proposal

Proposals are a big part of doing business for any CPA firm. While a proposal won’t win you business, it can certainly lose you business. Proposals today must be digitally friendly. Here are five ideas to make your proposal more digitally friendly.

1. Include links to your content

If you are a social-savvy firm, you most likely have content you are sharing through a newsletter or blog. Proposals are about differentiating yourself from your prospects. Instead of just telling them about what you know, why not show them? Include links to relevant content you have written on your website to help reinforce the message. These could be strategically placed as you address how you will approach some of their key issues, or could be included under the information about your team.

2. Use more graphics

Most people today scan content, and that includes your proposals. Break up your content and create more engaging proposals by using more graphics to communicate your key points. For example, instead of writing out your audit process, consider using a graphic to communicate the same thing. Another great place to visualize content is when presenting options. Summarize them into a table on one page, making it easy for prospects to quickly see everything together.

3. Add video

If you participate in a fair amount of RFP situations, consider recording a short video introduction in lieu of, or in addition to, an opening letter. Most computers today allow you to record video from your own computer screen. Imagine how much more personal and powerful this could be in a situation where you might not have met with all your decision-makers.

4. Mind your Layout and Balance Your Wordcount

Most proposals have way too much copy and are often presented as very long letters. Breakup the layout and make it more engaging. Consider using multiple columns and layouts. If you traditionally present a proposal in vertical layout, play around with a horizontal layout. Paying a graphic designer for a good layout is worth the investment, but make sure the proposal is in a format partners and managers can access. InDesign and Photoshop won’t help for everyday use. Once the design is set, limit your word count. Don’t go overboard with copy. Communicate only what’s important and make sure it’s able to be scanned.

5. Make an impression

While having a digitally friendly proposal is important, the delivery of your proposal is still critical. Make the time to drop off print copies or make a phone call to the prospect. When you get the opportunity to present in person, don’t waste it by talking about your history. Engage the prospect in a conversation about their business and needs.

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