Ten Steps to a Power-Packed, Persuasive ProposalWritten by Linda Elizabeth Alexander
Writing proposals is a skill no businessperson should be without. Often clients will put out a request for proposal from three or more companies at same time. In order to get their business, yours has to be most convincing one -- one that demonstrates most value for clients' dollars. Here are ten steps to constructing compelling proposals that ensure your success.
1. As with any writing project, you first have to understand purpose of your proposal and people reading it. Usually with a proposal it is to get business, while they find right vendor to solve a problem.
2.Understand your readers. Learn all you can about their needs. Ask lots of questions. The more needs of theirs that you address, better your chance of getting sale.
3. Underpromise and over deliver. Do NOT overpromise just to close deal. For example, by pricing yourself too low, you will lose profit. Offering an unrealistic deadline will put your reputation at risk when you are unable to deliver on time.
4. Do your homework. Ask lots of questions during course of your research. Make sure to fully understand your client's needs, and how your product will meet their needs. What are their expectations? How will they use your product or service? Also, learn their views on pricing and quality - are they willing to pay a premium for quality, or would they rather get a sloppy job for cheap? Also find out: * What problem are they trying to solve? * What would their ideal solution be? * What is most important aspect of this project to them: price, quality, timing? * Who is final decision maker? Will you have to deal with a large committee of decision makers? This might pose problems for you if you receive conflicting feedback.
Ten Tips to Simplify Your Business CorrespondenceWritten by Linda Elizabeth Alexander
You write to express, not to use every word in dictionary. Here are ten tips for using those words to make your writing clearer.
1. Simplify language Avoid using big or vague words. Use fewer words, but make them count.
2. Shorten sentences Business people don't have time to read 10-page letters. Cut out run-on sentences. Eliminate extra words as long as it doesn't change meaning. You can also combine a short and a longer sentence into one to remove extra words.
3. Use active voice Instead of, "A good time was had by all," say, "We had a good time." This changes subject from "good time" to "we." It also puts emphasis on verb, making statement stronger.
4. Use present tense Stick to present tense wherever you can. Also make sure you don't switch tenses in middle of a sentence.
5. Use bullets where appropriate Since people have little time to read, put important points in a numbered or bulleted list. This makes it easier to scan so your readers get meaning without reading every word.
6. Never use exclamation points in business writing! Unless you're writing an advertisement or an excited letter to a friend, skip wow factor! It doesn't belong in a memo, report, letter, or other serious-toned business writing!