Therefore I’ve stopped doing proposals for my speaking gigs or ‘consultancy’ (I hate that word – I’m trying to think of a better one). I prefer to get a feel for what people are looking for in a conversation, and I do this in the first ten minutes of talking to them. I can then tell them how long I reckon it’ll take to get them sorted and how much it’ll cost.
They can then take it or leave it – right there and then.
The alternative is, and let’s be honest, you’ve probably been there yourself, wasting hours prepping massive documents only to get a “no”, or to find your painfully prepared proposal being used to shave other players’ quotes down. If you have to do proposals, do everyone a favour and keep them short and sweet.