Proposal Writing Strategies

There are two main reasons to​ write a​ business proposal. Either someone has invited you to​ submit a​ RFP (Request for Proposal); or​ you are trying to​ gain support or​ funding from your employer or​ another organization.

When drafting a​ proposal the​ most important thing to​ keep in​ mind is​ that the​ reader is​ looking for benefits; they want to​ know how your product,​ service,​ or​ idea adds value to​ their operation. Therefore your proposal must be well-written and it​ also must clearly indicate how you can fulfill a​ current need.

Here are a​ few tips to​ help you improve your proposal:

1. Make the​ proposal about your customer. a​ proposal is​ not the​ time to​ tell about your mission,​ your locations,​ or​ how long you have been in​ business. Instead you should state how these (or any other) aspects benefit your client.

2. Show and don’t tell. Do not tell your prospect what you can do for them,​ but show them using clear examples. Avoid unsubstantiated hype like “best value”,​ “low risk”,​ and “cutting edge”; unless you are willing to​ prove it.

3. Be careful not to​ include irrelevant information. if​ you are making the​ proposal about the​ reader,​ and showing instead of​ telling,​ then you should have no problem with this.

4. if​ you are responding to​ a​ RFP,​ read the​ request more than once. You want to​ ensure that you completely grasp the​ requirements.

5. Show your creditability. Who have you worked with before? How did you help them and how does that relate to​ the​ company you are submitting this proposal to?

6. Watch your language. it​ is​ very important to​ make sure your proposal is​ politically correct. Additionally,​ you want to​ avoid jargon unless it​ is​ commonly known in​ the​ field you are targeting. Also,​ avoid writing in​ passive voice.

7. Include samples if​ it​ is​ appropriate. This is​ a​ great way to​ show that you are capable of​ handling the​ job.

8. Be specific. State your time frame for completing the​ project and your rates (if applicable). This will help eliminate differences in​ expectations.

9. Above all,​ if​ you are a​ poor writer,​ seek assistance. Proposal writing is​ time-consuming and it​ requires a​ certain amount of​ skill.

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