A business proposal is a route to sales, and that means that when a proposal falls flat, your business is in trouble. Writing proposals is something that every business has to do at one point or another, but writing proposals successfully is something not every business has figured out. Follow these seven tips to make your proposals stand out from the herd.
- Brevity is the soul of effective proposal writing. This isn't the place for technicalities and jargon – those can alienate your readers and drive them away. Instead, use your business proposal to make sure your audience understands what you're selling, and how it addresses their current challenges.
- Aim to persuade. Being persuasive in a business proposal boils down to two things: present the facts for your position, and anticipate any concerns your readers may have.
- Be yourself. Or, rather, stick to the individual style and branding of your company . If you're offering a cutting-edge new service, don't try to be formal and stodgy. And if you've got the weight of years of tradition behind you, don't be afraid to show off your expertise. Be individual and memorable, not boilerplate.
- Don't overuse graphics. Charts, diagrams, and pictures can help demonstrate ideas, but they can also clutter up your layout. If possible, get a layout expert to go over placement, and only use ones important to reinforcing your case.
- Sell only what you have. Don't make claims you can't back up. Readers who sense that won't trust your authority, and consumer trust in the long term beats out up-front sales in ROI.
- Be professional. Tailor your proposal to the situation, and make sure it's logically structured, reviewed, and well-proofread.
- Know your clients. Remember that what you're selling may not be the literal product or service on offer, but rather the benefit your customer will receive from entering into a contract. Show them how you can solve their problems before trying to cement a sale.
Writing a business proposal to order for each client is a much more effective sales tool than using a template. Contact Hurley Write, Inc. to learn more about crafting exciting, stand-out business proposals. Or, attend our two-part webinar, " Writing Winning Proposals ," on May 9 and 23, 2014 (discounts available for multiple attendees from the same organization).
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