clip_image002A request for a proposal is a crucial step in the sales cycle. It creates the change to get one step closer to a customer and a new project or deal.

But writing a proposal is not easy. Proposals come in many sizes and shapes, depending on the organization that asks for one. In some cases, it is better to avoid a formal proposal and opt for sending a letter outlining the products and services to be offered.

Seven tips for writing a proposal

  1. Create a powerful, but concise executive summary

In many cases, the customer just wants to see a short overview of deliverables with prices.

  1. Focus on results

Customers are far more interested in the deliverables than in methodologies or processes. Quite bluntly, they just want the job to be done; how it is done is of secondary importance.

  1. Showcase ideas

Customers want to cooperate with a business partner they can trust. To show that you are not only on the same wavelength, but also want to be their partner, share ideas that can help them.

  1. Make sure it has quality

As in many cases, it is the quality, not the quantity that counts. Limit the amount of pages, and make sure the proposal is about the customer. Focus on how you are going to solve the customer’s problems.

  1. Be careful with jargon

Terms such as “best practices”, “outstanding practices”, innovative solutions”, “and out-of-the-box thinking”,”top-notch and best-of-breed” are overused and are considered to be marketing hype. Try to use clear language and simple terms; it will avoid misunderstandings and future complications.

  1. Make sure its accurate

The proposal must be accurate, so make sure to validate and double-check all data before presenting it. Check every small proposal detail and watch for typos and style mistakes.

  1. Delivering your proposal

Make sure that the right people receive the proposal on time. You can submit it by email or hand it over in person. The latter guarantees you a higher change of closing the deal.

(Image courtesy of Geldlening Offerte)