A business proposal letter is a sales document that is sent by a business to a prospective client. It is primarily used to solicit the client’s business and focuses on how the product or service being offered by the business will benefit the client.
There are two main types of business proposal letters. One type is sent when the services or products are requested by the client, and the other is sent to a prospective client unsolicited.
The letter is focused on a specific project and not intended as a general sales document. They are sent to the specific person in charge of the project, and the aim is to develop a business opportunity.
If the business proposal is being sent because of a request for proposal (RFP), the letter should follow the structure that is requested in the RFP.
The most common features are:
• A short description of the business’s service or product and how they will benefit the client’s business
• A short description of the project and how the business will handle it
• Answers to any questions put by the RFP
• A quote for materials, tools, delivery, labor and other costs of the project
If the letter is being sent to a potential client unsolicited, its intent is to create interest in the client for the business’s products or services creating a new business opportunity.
It should follow the same format as an RFP but include more information that will answer any questions the client may have. The aim is to present a valuable proposition with a call to action.
The first step a business should take before sending an unsolicited business proposal letter is to learn as much as possible about the potential client. This will not only impress the client, it will also help the business avoid becoming connected to a less-than-standard client.
Research Client’s Mission Statement
The business can research the client’s mission statement, and how they make decisions. This will help the business frame its letter. For example, most companies want more profit, but if the company is looking for something new to offer their clients, this may be the angle to take, or if the client needs an edge on their competition, this can be mentioned in the letter as a benefit.
An unsolicited letter needs to catch the client’s attention. One of the best ways to do this is to present an offer that they won’t want to refuse. Once this offer is on the table, the letter needs to make it easy for the client to accept.
If the proposal is very complicated, the client will most likely disregard it. The proposal should be simple, which means the business may need to take on more responsibility at first. Once the prospective client becomes a real client, the collaboration will become more lucrative.
The letter should also be specific. It’s not enough to tell the potential client their profits will increase, the business needs to give specific numbers based on predictions from their own marketing statistics that show real data.
Along with specific numbers, the letter needs to be personal. A letter that appears to be from a template or generic will not be taken seriously. It will look like an advertisement and be discarded. If the letter is from a specific person to a specific person, it will be valued.
A call to action at the end of the letter is essential, but it shouldn’t be overbearing, unrealistic or inaccurate. For example, the offer may expire after 10 days, or be for an unspecified limited time only. If the letter offers any incentive, it must be true.
Here is a sample of an unsolicited business proposal letter. It should be written in formal business-letter style and sent by certified mail. Emails are too easy to overlook or delete. A certified letter will be taken more seriously.
Sample Unsolicited Business Proposal Letter
Name of Person Making the Proposal
Name of Business
Address of Business
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Potential Client
Name of Potential Client’s Business
Address of Potential Client’s Business
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Name of Potential Client:
My catering company can help you lower the cost of your events by 50 percent. We provide delicious meals and hors d’oeuvres at half the cost because we use fresh, local ingredients. I believe we can give you substantial savings on every event.
I have attended several of your events and understand the quality and amount of food you require to make it a success. I would be happy to meet you and go over menus for several different types of meals and snacks and show you how we provide quality food at reduced prices.
I have been in the catering business for 10 years and have 15 repeat customers every year. We’ll provide every option including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher and halal.
Please call me at Phone Number or email me at Email Address and I will be happy to meet you at a time that is convenient for you.
Signature of Sender
Printed Name of Sender