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10 tips for preparing a winning proposal

by Sarah Holbrook on 12/01/2017 in Business Development

We can help to create you a winning tender. but if you prefer to do this for yourself, here are some tips on how to create winning proposals and help you stand head and shoulders above the rest.

  1. Use the right medium. I’ve been on the receiving end of a couple of proposals that were sent on PowerPoint. For me, that’s not at all what PowerPoint is for…that’s for the next stage, should you be invited to present!
  2. Focus on them not you. That’s not to say you don’t include information about your business, but some of it can sit in appendices. Instead focus on the impact your business will have, its impact and outcomes for the potential client.
  3. Look like you. Design a proposal to include your logo, branding and imagery. It’s a chance to promote your company brand and inject its personality.
  4. Bring your proposal to life. Break up the “words” with images, quotes, real life facts, figures and examples, diagrams. Try and cater for every type of person that could be reading your proposal.
  5. Be memorable. Depending how much you want to impress and invest, maybe ask a professional designer to add the finishing touches. And think about how you could package and deliver your proposal in a memorable way.
  6. Good, accessible copy. Don’t use 500 words when 200 will do; it’s a case of quality over quantity. Write your proposal, review and edit it – making sure it is easily accessible with clear sections and good use of bullets, highlighting and font sizes. Strip out all dead words.
  7. Always answer the question. Remember those words from school and answer each question you’re asked clearly.
  8. Follow instructions. Make sure you follow the instructions given, such as word count and layout – and deadline! Don’t disadvantage yourself.
  9. Always check. Don’t let yourself down with pobut or grammar, punctuation or spelling. Do everything you can to minimise this risk and ideally get someone else to do a final proof.
  10. Summarise. Include a summary upfront that clearly identifies your approach, the intended outcomes and why you are a great choice of partner.

If you’d like to talk about how we can improve your tendering process and success rates, give us a call and we can arrange to meet.

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