tl;dr: don't put the "About Us" section at the beginning of your sales proposal. This page is much more effective at the end of your sales documents, because human psychology.
Would You Put the 'About Us' Page Above the Fold on Your Company Homepage? How About in a Sales Proposal?
Treat your sales proposal document just like you would treat your business website
If you're running a web development studio, a marketing agency or a software consultancy, my assumption is that you've spent some time polishing your own website. I bet your main landing page does not begin with glorifications of your own company because you've learned that lesson early: your client does not care about you, she cares about what she can get from you.
Then how come so many sales proposals start with the 'About Us' page?
The basic rules of website architecture apply to sales proposals as well. So if I was to create an elaborate layout for a sales proposal, I would create pages in this order:
- Cover Page
- Project Brief
- Client's Story
- Problem Definition
- Our Proposed Solution
- Pricing Table
- Portfolio with Testimonials
- About Us
- Call to Action Page with Contacts
- Technical Specification
Influence starts with talking about the other person, not about yourself
Isn't the above layout just like a website landing page layout? There's a natural order to building up a sales pitch. If you've done your job well before sitting down to write the sales proposal, you'll have enough ammo to put in your sales quote - which is a powerful weapon in sales.
So, the least interesting parts of the sales proposal go last. The client is not interested to look at your badges, certificates and awards just yet. First you need to demonstrate that you understand what the client's going through, that you have the right solution for her problems and that she can afford to do business with you. Let your sparkling "About Us" page be a logical justification for a seemingly high price.
Another look at the sales proposal anatomy
The above proposed layout of a sales quote is not a coincidence. There are centuries of research of human psychology behind this anatomy:
1. Pages for emotional buildup (a beautiful cover, a thoughtful project brief, a demonstration that you understand your client's situation)
2. The pricing page (a.k.a. the moment of truth)
3. Pages for helping your client logically justify your price (a portfolio with shiny pictures and testimonials from satisfied clients, your company in all its glory, an explicit call to action with contact details and, finally, technical specification of your products and services - for the nerds in your client's team).
So, the 'About Us' page does not belong in the emotional part of the sales proposal anatomy - you can now clearly see that. Your client doesn't actually care for your company that much. But badges, certificates, awards and hipster office pictures can be persuasive if placed well.