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Swenk Today: The Digital Marketing Agency Show

Jul 31, 2018

Do you want to convert more of your digital agency proposals? Do you want to win more clients, easier and faster.

I'm going to walk you through my proposal formula that we used to convert 80% of our prospects and win business with big brands like AT&T, Hitachi, Lotus Cars and more.

First, make sure you're talking to the right prospect. Never create proposal until you know: NBAT (Need, Budget, Timing, Authority). This helps qualify your prospects to you don't waste time with the wrong ones. Check out for more info:

1. Master template - save time with a template instead of preparing every proposal from scratch. Make it as long as you need to list all the services you offer. Then when you create a new proposal, remove or replace anything irrelevant. This is a HUGE time saver! Or, make it even easier on yourself and check out my Proposal Template:

2. Executive Summary - most people get this part wrong, because it is not a summary of the proposal itself. The Executive Summary is a summary of what the client has expressed in your upfront conversations. Include things like: what they need and want, goals and challenges that stand in their way. I also like using neurolinguistic programming (NLP) by stating a few obvious facts in order to establish trust.

3. Service Solutions - list out the services you'll provide in order to achieve the results they desire. This is not a menu of services and you do NOT list pricing in this section! This area is just walking them through the plan in detail to help them understand the process. This is the most detailed section of the proposal, but if you're using a master template it will be the easiest! :) You also want to include what you're NOT doing, which will help you avoid scope creep. Define what is include and what is not to save time and headaches later.

4. Project Summary - this is the section where you you can list out pricing; and I suggest doing it in 2 categories: one-time fees and residual or ongoing monthly fees.

5. About Us - most agencies are doing this wrong, because they put their "about" section right in the beginning after their cover letter. They list out honors, awards, certifications, team, etc. No one cares who you are that early in the process! First, show them what you can do for THEM, and put your agency's credentials deeper in the proposal.

6. Contract - include the contract with the proposal! Now, mega brands are going to have their own contract or MSA. But most clients will use whatever contract you provide so include it with the proposal. You can even be more proactive and send it in advance of the meeting so they can have their legal department review it first. Doing this helps determine whether they're serious about working with you, but it helps them see you're serious about working with them.

7. DON'T SEND THE PROPOSAL. It took me years to figure this out! You're going to have a lot of prospects ask you to send them the proposal. Don't send it!! Explain to them that it's your process to review the proposal with them in person. This can mean a physical meeting or video/web conference. That way you can walk them through the proposal, answer their questions, and make sure they're comparing apples to apples when you're up against other agencies.

What challenges are you facing with your agency proposals? Comment below!



Fresh out of college Jason was off to work for Arthur Anderson, one of the big 5 consulting firms. He quickly realized that he could never work for anyone other than himself. He decided to change direction, launch a digital agency that quickly grew to a multi-million dollar operation working with brands such as AT&T, Hitachi and Lotus Cars. After 12 years of steady growth, the agency caught the attention of bigger agencies and Jason sold it in 2012.

Now, Jason leads, a unique media company & consultancy helping marketing agencies grow & scale their agencies faster by applying the framework that he used to grow, scale and eventually sell his agency. Jason has helped over 10,000 agencies in 23 countries meet or exceed their business goals.
Jason currently hosts two shows that are available for download:

The Smart Agency Master Class, weekly podcast and SwenkToday a daily vlog that answers viewers questions.

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