You just had a fantastic coaching discovery call. You struck up an instant rapport with the potential client who freely divulged that you are top of the short list of candidate coaches. You both know that you have the skills and experience to help her business leap beyond its current obstacles to new stages of revenue and reach.
Everything is going swimmingly. You can feel that her yes is the natural outcome of the easy back-and-forth banter and her confidence in your expertise. And then you are stopped in your tracks with a mundane request: “Can you send over a coaching proposal so the team can look it over?”
You mutter out a reassuring “Sure!” but internally your imposter syndrome is rearing its head. You’ve never had to provide an official business proposal before and aren’t sure if you have the know-how. Will your proposal be so ugly and unprofessional that you lose this client?
While a business proposal is another chance to demonstrate your expertise, it’s unlikely a client will call off the coaching plan if your proposal isn’t formatted with the skill of a graphic designer. By simply following a few key elements outlined below and in the free template, your proposal will be perfect for sealing the deal.
What Is a Business Coaching Proposal?
A business coaching proposal is a formal, written outline that details the coaching services you offer, the problems you aim to solve, and the goals you plan to achieve. It’s the first tangible piece of your coaching relationship that spells out the terms, timeline, and pricing.
The coaching proposal is usually sent out after a successful discovery call. In many cases, it’s something of a formality. But it does give the new client something tangible to share with teammates or a business partner to get their buy-in.
It’s yet another opportunity for you to make a personal connection with a prospective client and warm them up to the idea of working with you. Once the client has shown interest in your services, schedule a second call or send an email with your detailed proposal.
Three Reasons Business Coaches Need Proposals
As a business coach, you are well-trained and offer exceptional services, but none of that will matter if you can’t get clients to hire you. Having a proposal is one of the many steps that motivates prospects to navigate through that marketing funnel and finally sign on the dotted line. Here’s why.
1. Displays professionalism
Your proposal is the blueprint for your coaching business, and if it’s a good one, it will help your potential clients thoroughly understand your value. This positions you as a credible professional, which wins clients over.
2. Defines your scope and lays out expectations
Miscommunication is a natural vibe killer, but clarity closes deals. Your proposal is your opportunity to cover the what, the how, and the how much so everyone’s on the same page.
3. Increases your income
If you want to go to the next level, having a proposal isn’t optional; it’s a minimum requirement. High-value clients, like large organizations, have larger budgets than some individuals but require more effort from you as a coach.
Key Elements of a Professional Business Coaching Proposal
Below are six key elements your business coaching proposal should have to turn prospects into loyal, paying clients.
Your introduction should echo the information you’ve covered in the discovery call, but this time in writing. Start by briefly introducing yourself, your coaching philosophy, and what you offer. Make it as personalized as possible. Show that you’ve done your homework about their business and pain points.
2. Objectives & Goals
In this section, clarify your promise to the client. What are the general objectives and goals your client seeks to achieve? They should be ambitious but keep it realistic. Align your objectives with their business goals and development, so it’s a win-win situation.
3. Scope of Service
Will you be offering one-on-one sessions, team workshops, or virtual meetings? Be specific. Break it down so clearly that even a fifth-grader would get it. And remember to mention what you do not offer. Setting boundaries is key and is a foundational element of a successful coaching journey.
A word of caution: Don’t give away the farm in your proposal. It’s not a complete coaching plan. If you’re giving so much detail that another business coach could step in and implement your strategy, you’ve gone way past the level of a proposal.
Here, you’ll clearly specify the timeline for service delivery. Are you offering a three-month coaching program? A six-session package?
State it loud and clear in this section. Also, mention any follow-ups or assessments you’ll provide. You’re building a road map to their success, so make sure you cover everything that’s required.
5. Pricing & Payment Terms
Whether it’s a package deal or individual sessions, clearly list prices and clarify the payment terms. Is it a 50% deposit upfront? Full payment? When is the final payment due?
Be transparent in the proposal to avoid issues moving forward.
6. Testimonials & Case Studies
Lastly, add social proof to your proposal. Drop in a few testimonials and case studies from clients whose lives changed dramatically because of your service.
Presenting prospective clients with proof that your services work is a smart way to win them over.
Adapting Your Business Proposal to the Needs of Your Client
Every client’s business is unique, so each proposal should reflect that. Is your prospect a small business looking for an overall strategy revamp or a corporate player focusing on leadership training? If they have special needs or specific pain points, address them and provide the solution in the proposal.
Business coaching has two distinct cores, knowledge and empathy.Shawn Hesketh, on the Coach Factory podcast
A few things in your proposal will stay the same, like your basic coaching philosophy and credentials. However, the services, the timeline, and the pricing will change to fit each client’s needs. Always keep your core offerings and values constant while adjusting the details to match the client’s request.
It helps to use templates as a solid foundation. A good proposal template will have placeholders for everything you need — Introduction, Objectives, Scope of Services, etc. But within those categories, you should customize the content.
Five Questions to Ask Before Sending Your Proposal
So, now you’ve got this amazing proposal all set and you’re itching to hit that send button. But are you 100% ready?
Before sending out that business coaching proposal, here are five questions you should ask yourself.
1. Is it aligned with the client’s needs?
Does it directly address the client’s pain points? Have you tailored it to solve their unique issues? If your proposal seems generic, your prospective client will notice, and you’ll miss your shot. Make sure you’ve done your homework, and you’re hitting all the right notes.
2. Have I clearly defined the deliverables?
Don’t leave your clients wondering what they’re getting from you. Are you offering workshops, one-on-one sessions, or team assessments? And how many of these do they get? Make sure you specify the what, how, and when for every service offered. Don’t leave room for ambiguity.
3. Is the pricing transparent and justifiable?
Avoid hidden fees or surprise costs. Be upfront about your pricing and justify the rates you’re charging. If you have package deals or flexible payment options, lay them out neatly. Transparency builds trust, and trust leads to signed contracts!
4. Have I proofread for errors and clarity?
Your proposal needs to be polished. Look out for typos, grammatical errors, and unclear phrasing. If possible, get a second pair of eyes to look it over. A small error could be the smudge that ruins a flawless execution for you.
Transform Your Coaching Practice With Proposals
If you’re ready to level up your business coaching from a side-hustle to a full-fledged, booked-and-busy practice, having a proposal will put you on the right track. It shows that you’re serious, credible, and capable of transforming businesses — and lives. Don’t underestimate the power of that first impression because it can make or break your opportunity to land top-notch clients.
Get prepared for your next golden opportunity by using the template we’ve laid out for you and start crafting proposals that are as strategic and effective as you are. Download it free as a Coach Factory VIP member.