What Should All Proposals Have in Common with Milk?

What Should All Proposals Have in Common with Milk?October 17, 2022

What Should All Proposals Have in Common with Milk?

Expiration dates.

If you’re solo or small professional services business issuing proposals to prospective clients, those proposals should always have a “good until” date.

The two biggest reasons are that it helps clarify whether that client is serious, and it also prevents you, if you’re disciplined enough, from reeking of the stench of desperation.

When proposal expiration day comes, send out a “I wish you the best” email. Tell them that since your proposal expires today and you haven’t heard from them, you assume that they’ve gone in another direction, or the timing isn’t good. You thank them for their consideration and wish them the best.

When you do this, the clients who really want to work with you will respond with something that amounts to “hold on there.” They might need a few more days, or they been legitimately sidetracked by an internal matter. They’ll generally tell you why they haven’t responded, and they’ll start moving.

If you don’t get a response from an “I wish you the best” email, you’ve got a client who’s not going to hire you. There may be any number of reasons why, but a lot of times it can boil down to the fact that they just don’t want to tell you no. They may come back down the road (in which case you’ll give them a new proposal), but for now, you let them go.

Never budge on this. Ever. If you call or email two weeks later with some special offer, then you’ve smothered yourself with the stench of desperation. The client knows that if the expiration date in the proposal is no good, then everything is negotiable, including pricing.

Further, you might not get hired anyway, because your credibility has been punctured.

It takes courage to walk away, particularly when you’re new and you really need the business. What you’ll find, though, is that you’ll be better off in the long run.



Image created using Craiyon (Formerly DALL-E Mini)

(This blog post was also posted on LinkedIn.)

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray


About me: I help solo or small professional services firm owners with the confidence and positioning necessary to improve their pricing and change the trajectory of not only their business but their life.

I have a podcast called The Price and Value Journey, which features interviews with industry leaders and audio versions of my blog posts. You can find the podcast on your favorite podcast app.

I also have a book coming out in 2023:  The Price and Value Journey: Raise Your Confidence, Your Value, and Your Prices to Grow Your Business Using The Generosity Mindset.

For more information, go to PriceValueJourney.com

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