Today’s business world is highly competitive and for you to be heard, you have to go beyond the ordinary or normal way of doing things.
Each and everyday businesses spend time writing and sending proposals to prospects and clients but hardly get good responses. There are only a few businesses out there who have mastered the art of creating top notch business proposals that get the job done.
A business proposal is a marketing tool used by businesses or entrepreneurs to communicate their ideas, products or services to investors, customers or any interest group. Being a marketing tool means it must perform marketing functions which include but not limited to influencing customer behaviour positively to buy what they are offering for sale. For your proposal to live up to that function you have to follow our tips:
Before you start writing, conduct research on the client you are writing to. This will save you a lot of headache, there is not point writing to a company or individual that just filed in for bankruptcy! The information you can discover from research is numerous.
Adopt Power Writing Technique:
Your proposal must be written in simple, clear and concise language. Avoid technical terms and jargons. Present your proposal in a creative, lively and friendly manner. It must not be boring. It must communicate effectively while focusing on the benefits of your product or service to the prospect. Keep the sentences short. Most executives are busy and often skim through written materials. For best result, write short sentences that are easy to read and understand. Keep your proposal short, request for a date for presentation instead of adding too many details into the proposal. Adding too many information into your proposal is like trying to kill two birds with a stone, you will succeed only in chasing both away. So keep it short!
Structure is key:
Structure your proposal properly to communicate effectively. Since most people have little time to spend on your proposal make it easy for them. Let the very first part address how your product or service is going to help your prospect or his business. Flash your proposal with good formatting; subheadings aid the flow of the proposal, bold formatting draws attention to vital texts. Customize each proposal, do not be straight jacketed about this. Add a brief profile about the client (if it is a company) and include its logo, this has a way of arousing interest.
This is a very important part of your proposal. Put your best foot forward. Start by a very brief introduction of your company, your product or service and how it will help your clients achieve set goals. Do not bore your reader, make it lively. Be creative and hold them spell-bound with your words so that they will continue reading. Write in a friendly tone and create rapport with the reader. Share a little with your reader about your company and what you stand for in a way that will boost his confidence to deal with you. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. So focus on them and not yourself. You can follow the 80:20 rule here i.e. allocate 20% of the proposal to yourself but 80% to your client and what your product will do for them or their business.
Adopt the Power of Persuasion:
For you to get the sale you have to do the work of a salesman. Sell! Do your best to persuade your reader to buy. Present all the benefits of your product or service to your client. Let the prospect be the focus here not your company.
Problems & Solutions:
Present the problems they may be having and also show how your product or service can even help solve them. Also anticipate future problems and how the product would solve it for them in that case. Present your solution in a crafty way to make it look as if you are not selling them anything. Prove your value.
You can cement your claim in 6 above with testimonies from clients (only credible facts and figures here, no lies). Create a page or two for this. People want to see who you have helped with your product especially those they can identify with. In Marketing it is called ‘Band Wagon Effect.’
Pricing in your proposal is important. Avoid just using “call for price” because if the price is stated clearly (no hidden costs) it will save the client the stress of having to call you again. This can also prevent procrastination which could lead to forgetting about you.
Your closing is as important as your opening. This is where your call to action comes in. Here you convince them to order your product or subscribe to your service immediately. Here you can request for a date for presentation. Payment terms, timeline, promos, payment option etc all goes here. Provide your contact details or form they can fill and return to you.
Do not be lazy in writing and presenting your proposal in a creative manner. This will form basis for making more sales for your business or company. There is no limit or hard and fast rule, just put your creativity to work! It is noteworthy to clarify that a Business Proposal is different from a Business Plan (read: Complete Guide On How TO Write A Business Plan).
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