Quantcast

The 12 Components of a Winning Proposal

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
[ Business]

As many as 8 and sometimes 9 in 10 proposals that come across my desk are doing nothing but contributing to the killing of trees.

Most are either long winded and difficult to read OR at the other end of the spectrum, they’re a 1 or 2 page price quote that says, “Forget about the value I offer, just compare me on price.”

Neither versions effectively sell anything.

When you think about it, it’s a crying shame really …

Most salespeople I get to see are good to great at selling face-to-face but when it comes to the next step, writing the proposal, they hate it with a vengeance, and unfortunately, it often shows – hastily slapped together documents, poor grammar, illogical sequence, boring copy etc. etc.

All the great work they put in in the sales presentation has been undone because their proposal doesn’t persuade. They get a prospective buyer excited about their product or service, and when they receive the proposal, it’s an anti-climax.

So, what goes into a winning proposal?

Well, the structure and the length of your proposal document will depend largely on the type of business you’re in and the product you’re selling, however here’s one effective structure that epitomises salesmanship in print.

* 1. Introduction

..sets the scene, builds rapport, thanks them for their time and addresses any specific points made during your appointment with them.

Some parts of this section can be “templated” with only a sentence or two at the beginning that needs personalising.

* 2. Table of Contents

Lists all the sections within the document, along with a brief description and page number.

* 3. Your Needs As We See Them

Articulate what their specific needs are as you understand them and then end this section by including a sentence that says that you’re going to show them how your product or service bests fulfils those needs.

* 4. How [xyz company] Will Help You Achieve These Results

Give your reader a quick taste of the solutions you have that will fulfill their needs.

* 5. The Product in Detail

This is where you can include all the features, advantages and benefits of your product including any test results, survey results, diagrams, photographs and anything else that proves your product or service is the best solution for their needs.

6. “xx Reasons Why [company] Will [deliver the benefit]

In this section you’ll include the major benefits of dealing with your company.

7. About [your company]

A profile that talks about how long you’ve been in business, how many people you have along with mission statements etc.

8. What Clients Say!

Testimonials.

9. Imagine Getting Results Like These!

Case studies and client success stories.

* 10. Your Investment

Articulates the investment along with your payment terms.

* 11. The Steps to Achieving Your Goals

Include an action plan with a time line that gives them a better understanding of how the fulfilment process works.

* 12. On a Final Note

Summarises the benefits of doing business with you and articulates the next step.

So that’s the process. Having said all of this, creating your template can be a nightmare, but once it’s done correctly you can enjoy higher sales conversions and save a considerable amount of time along the way.

How to Re-use Your Content Successfully

As I mentioned above, to achieve the most powerful results, the message needs to look like it’s personalised to that particular business YET if you were to do that, there’s a good chance you’d spend all your time writing proposals.

So, what’s the answer?

Your proposal master document will be made up of three types of information:

1. 100% templated material: You can develop a set structure for your proposal with set sections and some of these sections can be re-used verbatim time and time again eg. case studies.

2. Then there are other sections which, utilising macros built into your word-processing program, you can select from depending on the type of client. Depending on your macro programming skills you can actually have multiple-choice tick-boxes that you check and the copy that relates to those tick boxes is then automatically inserted into your document.

3. Totally personalised content. This applies to specific figures, strategies and ideas that you may include at the beginning or the end of the document to add to the sales appeal.

Kris Mills of Words that Sell ( http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au/ ) is a top selling copywriter, trainer and author of numerous how-to guides including Proposals and Tenders (Bids) that Sell. Kris has also produced a FREE ebook entitled “11 Bid Writing Sins and How to Avoid Them”. To arrange a FREE copy, visit:http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au/tendersebook.htm

The 12 Components of a Winning Proposal
This entry was posted in Business.
About Kris Mills
Kris Mills of Words that Sell ( http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au/ ) is a top selling copywriter, trainer and author of numerous how-to guides including Proposals and Tenders (Bids) that Sell. Kris has also produced a FREE ebook entitled "11 Bid Writing Sins and How to Avoid Them". To arrange a FREE copy, visit:http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au/tendersebook.htm WebProNews Writer
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • http://jefmenguin.wordpress.com Jef Menguin

    Kris,

    This is a very helpful article. I hope I can interview you one day and publish it in my blog.

    God bless.

    Jef