Effective Business Proposals

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Regardless of the kind of business you run, one of the best skills you can ever have is the ability to sell your services or products. This is one thing an effective business proposal does for you. A business proposal is a document that attempts to persuade a company’s targeted clients to opt for a service or a product. In other words, it is a selling tool. With a proposal, you are not only extending your services to somebody else, but you are also convincing them that you’re the best for the role. Yet, there is often a blurred line with seeking to convince a client to patronize you and simply spamming them with too much information.

Even if your solutions just happen to be best in town, if they are not well articulated in your proposal, your proposition could still get rejected. Many business proposals are unsolicited – asides those that are requested by the prospective client known as “Request for proposals” (RFPs) which are usually followed by “Expression of interests” (EOIs.) As such, your work as a business owner is cut out for you. You’ve must get the attention of the recipient in a way that holds their attention enough to express their interest. Here are core elements to always put in place:

Know The Client’s Need

You might have the best services available, but are those the services your clients truly need? If they aren’t, best believe that you’ll be barking at the wrong wall. The first tip for a business proposal is to understand your potential client’s needs and be able to convincingly articulate them. To effectively do this, you must have done your homework. You can take a look at their public information or even obtain intelligence from a staff of the company. If you know what they need, you’d be able to give them what they want, how they want it.

Define Your Competitive Edge

Why you? Why is your company the best choice to meet their needs? What makes you guys special? What are the benefits of hiring your company? Are there additional benefits they gain from being on your team? Do you have more experience in the proposed field than your competitors? Do you have a creative team? Your competitive edge or advantage is the attribute that makes an organization outperform its competitors. It is what makes your company nothing like others that look like it. It is important that you not just know them but can also outline them in a way that holds the interest of your prospective client.

 Clarity, Quality, Language

While it always seems (and indeed is) like a great platform to tell of your competence, trying to do so under technical jargon is a recipe for disaster. When drafting your proposal, clarity should be your watchword. If your prospective clients do not understand what you have to say, then the entire process has been a complete waste of time. Your proposal should also possess the best communication tools. It must be well-written, objective, persuasive, but definitely not too self-appraising. If you want to take it a notch further, be sure to match your language and style as used in the proposal to that of the recipient. If they can connect with you, the first barrier of defense will have been broken. It’s just like writing good web copy, if it’s simple, it’s seamless!

Optimal Structure

Understand that the proposal is not just going to be a one-read document – at least you hope so. Since the document will be referred to periodically, so you must be able to arrange all relevant information logically and in a way that is easy to access. On one hand, be sure to highlight persuasive arguments at the beginning and the conclusion of the proposal as they are the easiest places to notice. Also, using clear subheadings, place all relevant information like those on pricing and core services in visible sections. An optimal structure will still sell you even if your potential recipient takes a quick glance.

Think Solutions

As opposed to reminding your clients what services you offer, tell them how you intend to help them solve their problems. That is really what they will be looking for most in all of the proposals they receive. How can your proposed services solve their challenges or meet their needs? It is also not just enough to tell them how you can help them; you must also make them trust you to deliver. Show proof that you can truly deliver. Think statistics. How many other of such services have you rendered? If it’s a product, you could offer samples and if it’s a service, you can show a summarized portfolio of your previous work. This will help you build trust and gain credibility. The more they can trust you, the more likely they’ll accept your proposal.


Good Value For Money

Finally, your effective business proposal should offer good value for money. No matter how amazing your proposal is, if the pricing is significantly above what the company can afford or spare for the service, then you will have wasted a good tool. Even though pricing and value in this context are relative, be sure to focus on the client receiving good value for money. Value for money here is that the benefits of your proposal must be higher than the price of your bid. If the price is much more than the benefit, then it will most probably not hold water as it will be mere fluff.

Draft an effective business proposal with these tips in mind and 2020 might just be the year your business attains new heights.

Categories: Writing


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