Proposal Tip: Offer Choices

Most of my consulting proposals have options in them. I generally think that customers like having a choice in how to proceed, and it gives me a chance to express different ways I could help.

It’s hard not to have a preference for what they might pick. For example, you might want them to pick the most expensive option. I don’t always want that—sometimes an option is expensive because I don’t want to do it.

But, I find it best if I am neutral to their choice. I don’t want to be disappointed if my preferred option isn’t chosen.

In contrast, I want the customer to have a clear best choice. I don’t want them agonizing over the options, so they are usually pretty different. I might not know exactly which one they want, but it won’t be a close call.

For example, in an app proposal, one option might be to build the app. I don’t offer different ways I could do that, but I might offer to only be a project manager for an offshore team instead. Two very different options.

Each option is acceptable to me, but I think the customer would find choosing one easy.