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Proposal Writing Tips

I see it all the time. And perhaps you do too.
Letters and proposals that bury the price at the very end of the document. By
explaining all the benefits in the first few pages and then leaving the price
for last, people believe that buyers will be pleasantly surprised when they see
how much it will cost.

In actual fact, it doesn’t work that way.

Think about it. What do you do as a buyer?

I know I flick through the document until I
find the price. Then, if it’s more than I want to pay, I put the document away,
never to be seen again. I don’t bother going back and reading from the

Instead, what well written proposals do is tell the person up-front, how much
something will cost. That way the reader doesn’t need to go digging.

They see how much it is, have an instant reaction to the amount and THEN … if
it’s more expensive than they thought, they’ll keep reading through the document
to look for ways to justify the price in their own mind.

Why is it more expensive?

What special results does it achieve?

What claims do they have to back up the price?

I’ve tested it many dozens of times in our own campaigns and proposals, and with
clients. Every single time we test it, putting the price up front wins “hands

Here are two more tips on price …

1. Never say “price” or “cost” in
your document. Instead, use the word “investment”.

It may sound like a little thing but it has a
major psychological effect on your reader.

The word “cost” makes the reader feel like it is an expense they need to shell
out for. Conversely, the word “investment” makes them feel like it is an
investment that will give them a considerable pay back.

2. Never say “Your investment in
the xyz widget is $1235”. Instead say, “Your investment in the xyz widget is
$1235 which includes 14 refills (valued at $xxx), a lifetime replacement
guarantee, free lifetime technical support etc. etc.”

See what we’ve done here. By ending a sentence
with the price, you give them time to pause and reflect on the monetary amount.

Instead, by mentioning the price, then in the same breath giving a brief
snapshot of what it includes, your reader instantly makes an association between
the price and the return they will have on their investment.

In other words, the buyer makes a purchasing decision based on value for money
and NOT on the actual cost.

Makes sense, doesn’t it!

Kris Mills of Words that Sell is a seasoned copywriting professional and author of “How to Create a Sales Explosion With
Every Ad and Letter You Write”. More information on this popular guide can be
found at or check out more of Kris’
many copywriting articles at

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