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5. Ask clients for a wish list. Tell them you can't deliver everything on their list of ideals, but you want to get as close as you can. Next, ask them to prioritize items in order of importance. This way you will be able to realistically meet their expectations.
6. Organize proposal to persuade. Focus on making sale. Act as if everything is already in place and this is a contract about to be signed.
7. With research in hand, begin writing proposal. This step should run fairly quickly now that you have done your homework.
8. Get to point quickly - this doesn't have to be in first sentence, but make it close to top. Be sure they get your meaning quickly. If you don't do this correctly, your proposal will wind up in circular file before it is read.
9. Make sure to tell clients how your solution meets their needs. As with any marketing piece, be sure do define for them how THEY will benefit from your services. ("What's in it for me?")
10. Add a sense of urgency. A proposal can sit on somebody's desk for months before they decide to do anything with it. By adding an expiration date on your offer, you will encourage them to make a decision sooner.
Be sure to include a cover letter and cover page with longer proposals. Adding a line for a signature at end of offer easily turns proposal into a contract. With these guidelines in mind, you are sure to be a winner at any job you bid on.
Linda Elizabeth Alexander is a business writer and marketing consultant based in Longmont, Colorado, USA. Improve your writing skills at work! Subscribe to her FREE ezine. Write to the Point at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.write2thepointcom.com/articles.html.