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Nov 9, 2020

What steps can a sales or marketing professional take to create a compelling business proposal?

Podcast Transcript

In an ideal world, business proposals should be created in consultation with the client. However, when circumstances do not allow for direct communication with the other party, one should follow these 9 business proposal guidelines:

1. Write a concise and persuasive executive summary
Your summary should give your client a clear overview of what to expect in your proposal. A short and concise summary is preferred over a long one with little value.

2. Focus on results rather than on procedures
Keep in mind that your client is giving you a chance to present a proposal because he or she believes in the potential that your product has in addressing their concerns. Take advantage of that by focusing your pitch on the results that your product can deliver.

3. Let your ideas flow freely
While you should avoid unnecessary words, do not hold back from expressing important points and ideas. Add value by expressing well-thought out business propositions and back up your proposals with reliable data.

4. Quality over quantity
Remember it is not going to be about the length of your business proposal but rather its quality. Get to the point. Do not make the mistake of sacrificing clarity of thought for the sake of too many words.

5. Tailor the contents per the needs and concerns of the client
A business proposal, no matter how well-written, will be of little or no value if it does not address the specific concerns for which it was produced. Therefore understanding a client’s need is critical in the creation of the proposal.

6. Double check your content
Do not risk devaluing your business proposal. Always double check your written proposal to make sure that your plans are valid and on-point. Check your data for accuracy. Remember that your client will rely on your proposal for key decisions so be responsible with what you include.

7. Critique your output
Content quality is king. Do not rush your proposal. Give yourself time to sleep on it for a day if you can and then read the entire paper again. Do not stop editing until you are completely satisfied and confident that your client will find the proposal of real benefit.

8. Details matter
In the interest of producing quality proposals, you need to pay attention to the tiniest details. For instance, keep the text free from any typographic or grammar errors.

9. Do not oversell
Although you have written the business proposal to persuade your potential customer as to the value of your product, be mindful not to oversell. Sell only what you know you can offer.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you can be sure that you will not only be able to deliver a well-written business proposal but also close deals because of your efforts.