Writing winning proposals

1 Oct 2018

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Writing winning proposals

  2. NEED  Today ,finding the right proposals getting the desired project, or getting new customers has become very competitive.  Hence the need has arised to developed the Proposals to be sent to our clients, but its not important to write just proposals but the key word is “WINNING "proposals.  Only then can you succeed in winning more and more clients for yourself, as the company’s survival is completely based on this.  The writing needs lots of preparation and work.  The main mistake that is made is not understanding the client’s industry, needs, work, requirements
  3. DEFINATION  A Business Proposal is an “Offer Letter” as the main intention of preparing it is to persuade the client to buy the product/services or accept your offer.  It can also be defined as “a written document sent to a prospective client to win a specific proposal.”  They are the lifelines for many small organizations  The main objective is to provide a solution to the challenges faced by our client.  In includes the work to be conducted and sufficient information to the reader to affect his purchases.
  4. ADVANTAGES OF A PROPOSAL  It looks professional.  It creates a good impression about a company.  Its easily accessible for future references by the buyer.  We are not the only ones writing proposals. Hence the buyer can compare the proposal received by him to finalise the proposal.  Thus when we give an outline ,the buyer can easily and quickly go through the main factors to be considered as it is in writing instead o f mentioning orally.
  5. TYPES  There are 2 types of proposals: 1) Solicited Business Proposals: here the companies bid for winning the proposals made by companies(Client) to complete a task. An open bid takes place and the candidate who satisfies the companies parameters, wins. 2) Unsolicited: Here its important to address the target company. Unlike the previous one where the objective is clear, here you have to find out that need and how can you help the company to fulfil the need by your expertise.
  6. COMPONENTS  Content: The proposal should be sent in an envelop with the company’s name , name of the contact person, the email address contact numbers, and the address.  Executive Summary: Where you give company details, what will you provide the client to benefit him ,etc.  Plan: As to how will you proceed with the work, the challenges met, who will look after and supervise the important matters.  Technical Info: usually the product descriptions or any specifications required by clients.  Staff Details: who are working of projects. Sometimes if client requires, the staff's resumes also need to be sent.
  7. COMPONENTS  Budget: The price for the project usually with a justification.Incase there are more products used, the approximate costs of the same.  Company History: To highlight the previous achievements, the client base, and company qualifications,etc  If the proposal is to be submitted to the federal Government, the regulations are based on Federal acquisition regulation.  And if it to the government body, then the layout may have to meet regulatory requirements.
  8. FORMULA  Review the proposal with  - “Who”- Who will do the work, who will be responsible,etc.  - “Where”- Where is the project to be submitted.  - “ What”- What is the cost, what will be delivered.  - “When”- When will you start and end.  -”Why”- Why should the prospect choose you.  - “How” – how will the risks be managed, how will the customer be benefitted.
  9. PRIOR TO PREPARATION Before actually starting writing and preparing the proposal, you can go through the following steps 1) Advertising: I.e. marketing the product. It helps to persuade the potential buyer ,build confidence in him and to attract him towards you proposal. This is the main step, as to sell your product you need the prospective customers know that it exists and with what qualities. Thus you should mention how are you better than other competitors and what extra are you giving which others cant give. Also mention as to how will your proposal benefit the potential client, here if you can find out their needs in advance you can customise your proposal as per each client as when you write in the same words, what the client’s expects, you win . “As per the marketing experts "it takes 8 contacts before a potential customer becomes an actual client and 3 contacts with the existing ones to retain them.”
  10. PRIOR TO PREPARATION 2) Competition review: To win the proposal it very important to have the knowledge of the competitors, their offers, expertise, budgets, and any specialities they deal with. As this helps you decide what and how to offer the prospective client. 3) Interact: Do not stop at marketing, checking with the client, contacting them, finding their views at this point only is important so that you can develop your writing accordingly. - Create a Sales Pitch - Give a call back - Send them a “Thank You “letter
  11. PRIOR TO PREPARATION 4) Understanding: what the potential client wants is important. As once that is understood, you can then convince them about your company’s ability to meet their needs accurately. Sometimes a manager might ask you certain queries and ask you to revert them to his superiors. In this case, you can customise your proposal in such a way that his superiors gets all his answers and doubts cleared. 5) Planning: We need to plan the resources available, their use to the client, and the value of the entire project to the organisation ,w.r.t profitability and branding. Its vital to plan before writing the proposal. As a company’s executive who might be in charge of reading different company’s proposals ,get refreshed after reading yours as he doesn't like the monotonous flow of other proposals.
  12. PRIOR TO PREPARATION Hence plan in such a way that it should be very different, unique and outstanding from other’s proposals. Thus Planning in advance will save you from your proposal’s poor performance. 6) Design: It includes the layout, images , sketches, prototypes,etc. It should be attractive looking and prove to be important. Also avoid too much sketches and see to it that all these do not look too messy. so space them out. 7) Decide Budget: It is an important step as clients also sometimes accept or reject basis your budget estimates. It should include your admin cost, material cost, man hours, time involved in the project and other relevant costs. Again at the time of the actual project, the expenses could be few more, which you cannot anticipate at this stage. Hence here you just concentrate on the obvious ones.
  13. PRIOR TO PREPARATION It cannot be too high as you may then loose to competitors; nor too low as you may be viewed as a new-born company. 8) Expertise: Every business requires certain skills, knowledge about the filed,etc. So before proceeding check if your company come in the categorize. if you specialise in engineering filed, and get a proposal form financial filed, check if are ready with the requirements. 9) Set a restriction: Hence if the client’s file doesn't match with your target skills and target market decide to withdraw fro it, as once promised and not delivered what was promised turns to be more hazardous. 10) Time commitment: Have an overall view of the project and the approximate time required for completion. Do not over-commit
  14. HOW TO WRITE Simple: keep it simple and in a language which is easy to understand . Proposals with short and simple write up and clear objectives are a win-win. Errors: be careful of the language and grammatical errors, and also of spelling mistakes. Jargons: Avoid use of jargons and always write the full forms and never in abbreviations. Proofread: Have someone do this as sometimes because you are tired of the same things, you do not tend to find faults. A rash reader can do that for you. Format: Many companies are very strict when it comes to format and also rejects your proposals in case they are not as per the required format.
  15. HOW TO WRITE Selling: The main thing in writing a proposal is to have a direct meeting/chatting with the client. Wherein he gives his requirement and you give your inputs. But be careful to do more of listening and less of talking. Research: Its important to research on the prospective client, so that you can understand the client better. And serve him better. Listing: Create a list of questions before the meeting, to be asked to client. Writing down the list would help you not skip some of the main questions. Body of proposal: Divide the topic in form of subject and sub-topic so that these main things can be seen at a glance.
  16. HOW TO WRITE Also mention your company profile, the years it has been in existence, your main forte, past projects handled and client list and the achievements. Message to be in Detail: Make sure the message that has to be conveyed is done so in a clear, precise and detailed manner so that there is no/very less scope for the client to have any doubts. As if he gets another proposal with perfect details, he wouldn't even get back to you for clarification, thus you resulting in loosing it. Proposal Reason: make sure to mention the reason for writing the proposal
  17. HOW TO WRITE Language: try to understand the client’s needs or requirements and when writing the proposal, try and write the words that the client has used while mentioning you the details. This creates a personalized effect, as the client thinks that you are providing him exactly the same things that he needs. Also depending on from which field he is from , use the appropriate jargons. Solutions: The main element is to provide solutions to the challenges that the client is facing. See to it the only those solutions be provided that can be met later, as you cant promise a thing at a stage and later deny it. Information to someone: see to it that you have complete knowledge and information on the proposal that you are forwarding . As this creates a positive impression on your client. You should be should be able to answer all his needs and questions.
  18. HOW TO WRITE Use Graphics: Using the animations, graphics, and examples, creates an impressions that you are updated with the latest technology and have a class, as no one would want to give their project to someone who is still backward in these areas. Edit: After writing the proposal its important to check it specific to the grammar and spell checks, As also to the correct language used. The length also matters as the client might be too busy to read a lengthy on. Choose the font, heading, layout and other formats correctly .Hence the editing part comes in picture. Advantages: mention the benefits you can offer during the project. The main things to remember are: meeting the deadlines and maintaining confidentiality. Samples: Your previous client’s feedback, or samples of earlier projects is very important .A small sample given would go a long way to confirm your abilities and capabilities
  19. HOW TO WRITE  Conclusion: Every proposal should be concluded accurately. You can mention few follow-up activities that you will conduct after winning the proposal. It also acts like an effective after-sales service and helps to lure and attract the client towards your company. You can also make a final appeal.  Also mention in brief as to what your company intends to do and why is it important for your company.
  20. DELIVERY  See to it that the delivery is done on time and there is no time lapse.  If you are mailing the proposal, remember to check the delivery schedules.  Label the proposals and seal them. never give them without a seal as this shows that you car for the privacy of the proposals.  If you send through a courier, then get a signature receipt.
  21. COMPANY SPECIALITY  To win a proposal foll.are the things that you must have:  - An easy-to-navigate proposal document.  - Clear reasons as to why should you be selected.  -Acceptable contract terms.  - Visualisation techniques.  - Experience and samples or examples  A superior and excellent solution.  -pricing accurately structured..
  22. COMPANY SPECIALITY  Sufficient Staffing.  Budget which is competitive, not over or under rated.  Relevant references  Contract terms clearly mentioned.  Best Compliance  Sufficient Resources
  23. CONCLUSION  Hence by following the mentioned steps and by keeping in mind the points to be mentioned in the proposals, you can develop a good and winning proposal.  Developing not just a proposal but a winning proposal is the need of the hour today as the competition has increased to such an extent that you cannot afford to miss on any single proposal.