Hey, it’s 2021… Why are you still writing proposals like it’s 1975?


HEY, IT’S 2021…

Over the next few months, we’ll be looking at how you can “re-boot” your approach to creating proposals, engagement letters and targeted marketing campaigns with Panalitix state-of-the art technology solutions. Now’s the time to take a fresh approach to make proposal creation and delivery a more efficient and polished experience – for both you and your clients. Let’s get started!

Are you still writing proposals like it’s 1975?

OK, so maybe that’s an exaggeration… but when was the last time someone in your firm sent out a proposal for a project and said, “Well, that was a breeze! It only took me 10 minutes to put that together.”

Or, “I really enjoy outlining the Scope of Work in proposals. It reminds me that we are adding value to our clients’ businesses.”

Or, “The client called me to say they really appreciated how easy it was to understand our engagement letter this year. They signed and paid as soon as they received it.”

That doesn’t sound familiar? Then perhaps it is time to reconsider how your firm approaches some of the most important aspects of closing sales and retaining clients.

So what’s the problem? Well, what we’re hearing from you, our Panalitix clients and friends, is that the whole process of creating these documents – be it a one-off proposal or a slew of engagement letters – is a bit of headache.

The challenges start with not really knowing what to say in the Introduction – where you address the client/potential client. We see some intros that are way too casual and others that throw legalese at the client from outset, making the client want to stop reading one sentence in! We see intros to existing clients that are so “detached” it seems like the firm has never met them before. And then there are ones that read like the partner of the firm is  inviting the client to a BBQ!

Then there is the Scope of Work – what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and why. It is challenging to strike a balance between being clear and succinct and (depending on the type of proposal) selling your services by helping the reader to understand the value in what you are offering. But this is the crux of any good proposal. Ideally you want your client to be nodding their head and acknowledging that they really need your help before they even see the fees.

Which leads into the never-ending challenge of Pricing. Should you itemize everything or just combine all the services proposed into one fee?  How can you make sense of presenting services to be billed hourly, quarterly and services to be paid in an upfront lump sum? What about new clients vs. clients you’ve had for ages? Do you bill them differently? Are there any terms around payment? Do you need something (documents, information, electronic access to records, etc.) from the client in order to complete the work on time for that price?

There’s also quite a bit of fretting over the Terms and Conditions. For the most part, this is a necessary legal part of any proposal document and determined in part by the services you are providing and the jurisdiction in which you are providing them. But there also may be Ts and Cs that you, as a firm, want to add in addition to what you are legally required to include. The good news is that once you get all of this text together – it’s just a standard bit of content that needs to appear somewhere in your document and should rarely, if ever, require amending from document to document.

Finally, you might find yourself wondering if a potential client has even read your proposal, let alone signed off on it. Wouldn’t be awesome if you could see if your proposal has been read? Or if you were notified as soon as your client signed and paid? Wouldn’t it be even better if all of this could be done digitally and if the document looked great with photos and your firm’s branding? Well, Panalitix has a solution that does all of that!

Maybe it’s optimistic to suggest you can put together all of your future proposals in 10 minutes – but with a bit of thought, planning, content archiving, creative thinking and technology, there is a way to make proposal creation and delivery a much more efficient and polished experience…for both you and your clients.

Let Panalitix show you how!


Kim Forsythe

Kimberly Forsythe has been working in all aspects of communications for over 25 years. Whether it's writing content, or presenting content behind a microphone or in front of a camera, her passion for effective communication has led her to work with large international corporations, small businesses, media organizations and not-for-profits.

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