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September 22 2019.
How would you propose?

Proposals (also called as quote or an Offer) are probable one of the most complex form of business communication. In a fast changing & demanding market, persuading the buyer needs clear, concise, and compelling writing and an appealing value proposition.

Here is a checklists of top ten points in your proposal.

1. Never title your proposal "Proposal (quote or an Offer)."

It doesn't say anything buyer can figure out himself. Its like giving title to a book "Book"! Always write a title that captures benefit to the client.

2. Focus on your clients' business needs or problems first.

State what you have heard from them before offering a solution. It would address what they care about & are concerned the most. It also shows you've listened & are just not giving a proposal template.

3. Avoid lengthy corporate histories.

Believe me nobody's interested!

4. Eliminate jargon.

Even if your contact at the client understands all of your jargon, there would be other decision makers looking at your proposal. Most probable you've not met them! Will they understand it? Its better to use the client's jargon.

5. Keep your proposal as short as possible.

It's always tempting to throw in anything and everything that might be of interest, but in reality the decision makers won't read it. At best, they'll skim through your document. A short proposal is likely to be looked at first, which means all others will be judged in comparison to it.

6. Highlight your key points.

Note the comment about skimming in the previous tip: decision makers skim. You can make your document more "skimmable" by highlighting the main ideas. Use bullets, headings and subheadings, boldface type, color, borders, graphics, and anything else that will make your key points jump off the page.

7. Quantify your benefits and payback.

Show the decision maker how much he or she will save, or how much more productive the organization will be. Try to put in a time function. A convincing return of investment is more compelling than a slogan or cliché.

8. Prioritize your uniqueness factors or competitive advantages.

Think about what you have to offer and select a few qualities, prioritized in terms of what your client cares about. If possible, tie them to the ROI you're demonstrating.

9. Address the competitive issues.

If you know who you are competing against, raise issues in your proposal that strike at their weak points.

10. Ask for their business.

Ask for it in the cover letter, ask for it in the Executive Summary, and ask for it when you deliver or present the proposal. Being passive doesn't work. You have to ask.

With experience of two decades, read "How we help our clients" to improve business.

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