At most CPA firms, a good amount of time is invested creating a proposal when a new opportunity arises. Time is spent with the prospect, assessing the situation, and then the information is captured and recorded in a written document, stating the issues and scope of services. Often graphics, images and photographs are incorporated to make the proposal interesting and informative. In the end, the firm writes a proposal that offers a compelling message that distinguishes them from the competition.
But what happens when you lose the proposal?
Typically it is easiest to make an excuse, "We were underbid." Prospects, when questioned, may refer to fees as a deciding factor but I have my doubts as to whether or not proposals are lost on fees only. The big question I suggest you ask yourself after losing a bid for a new engagement is, "Did we communicate the value of the services we are going to deliver?" If a business owner rejects your proposal, it may have been lost because you have not demonstrated the real value that you can deliver. I doubt that most proposals are turned down purely on fees alone - but when you know this, it becomes your responsibility to show value early and often!
Read your proposals again through the eyes of the prospects before submitting, to be sure your are communicating a powerful and convincing message.