Write a proposal that wins all the time.

November 18, 2014

Writing a winning business proposal is a tough row to hoe. With so much work and energy spent on drafting, putting together and submitting a business proposal you’d hate it go to waste. That’s why you need to pay attention to some nitty-gritty details that may work wonders. Here are 4 tried-and-true tips on what to pay attention to when writing a proposal:

  1. Be Thorough

Writing a business proposal is something that requires your commitment and hard work. If you really want your proposal to be attractive you have to be thorough. At the Kickoff meeting, together with your associates, you should examine each and every part of your business idea before putting it on paper. This is the meeting where all the people involved in the project need to come and together develop a proposal. The Proposal manager should emphasize weak as well as the strong points of the proposal, and you should work together so that every aspect of the proposal is being addressed until it’s too late. Aside from the proposal team leader, your proposal team should include experts in various fields like technical experts, linguists/experienced writers, graphic representatives, etc.

  1. Use Graphics Smartly

Graphics are an interesting and easy way to get the message across, show the numbers, stats, etc. Graphics can be very useful and visually interesting and even relaxing in a way, but still, don’t overuse them. A proposal cluttered with graphics may not seem serious and can look distracting to the reader. Talking about distraction, make sure that the graphics fit into the overall context and are meaningfully connected to the area of text around them.

  1. Avoid Self-praise

While it is fine to say a few words about yourself and your company’s past successes, it is unwise to praise yourself too much. When you oversell, people will notice it, and you will lose credibility. Sounding pompous and too self-important will leave a bad first impression, which is not a good news for your proposal. After all, the reader is the one who makes the decision whether your proposal is praiseworthy or not. By overselling your company you are in a way disrespecting your reader and acting as if you want to influence or model their own opinion, as if they can’t decide for themselves. Instead, just stick to the facts and let them do the work.

  1. Clarity over High-blown Words and Clutter

When you try to impress the other party by using high-blown words per se, it usually has the opposite effect, especially when you can express the same content in a much simpler way. Once the reader notices you are trying to amaze them by using boilerplate text or too many run-on sentences, they will read the rest of your proposal with much less enthusiasm. Many people think that by using big words people will instantly think you’re smart, but in reality it is quite different. Put yourself in reader’s shoes. If you were given to read someone’s proposal for the very first time, what would be the feature you would appreciate the most? Well, probably the ability to clearly understand what their business proposal is about. You probably wouldn’t think of something like: Hmm, let me see how many big words did they use in this paragraph? Also, don’t write sentences that are too long. Remember, you are not writing a novel. In a document such as a business proposal, being succinct and to-the-point is always appreciated. The sentences with 15 words and longer are difficult to follow and the reader might soon lose the interest and become annoyed, which is the last thing that you need.

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