How to write a winning proposal?
- Workout a value proposition
Your product or service has features. These features have benefits.
We often stop there. However, benefits are not always fitting all your clients or prospects.
What value does my product or service bring to the specific client or prospect? This is the question to answer in a value proposition.
- Design a win theme
Based on the value proposition, which level will I press to position it. In order to answer this question, we need to study the situation of the client, the state of the competitions and learn what has been already attempted by the clients or prospect to address the goal of the proposal.
- Write the Executive Summary first
In maximum 2 pages, write what value proposition you are bringing to your clients/prospect. This is often the only pages that some executive will read and you should consider that the rest of the proposal is simply supporting documentation to substantiate the value proposition.
Bear in mind you are speaking TO the client/prospect, not ABOUT you, so start most of the sentence with YOU or the name of the clients/prospect. Describe their issues (not everybody in their company is aware of them), and the value you are bringing them at which price.
Everybody loves to read, for ex. that they have a $1M problem or opportunity and they can confidentially address it with your solution costing only $100K.
- Make a list of all the requirements (if formal RFI/RFQ/RFP) and respond to them
An RFI/RFQ/RFP lists points that need to be addressed, answered and offered. If we don’t see it the same way, we still need to address them. Having a table with the points and what answers we are bringing helps us to stay compliant. A table listing their rerequirements and showing at which page they are answered to is really useful.
- Add the necessary details (only necessary!) and counter solution (if the requested one are not the best proposal)
Don’t just be compliant. If you have a better approach, describe it as “alternative solution”.
- Check, check and double-check
They are is nothing worse than having a proposal with the name of a another company left in the document. Block a few hours before the deadline to check, check and double-check the documentation.
- When the proposal is delivered, work on the presentation
Insist on slot to present your solution. This is important!
At the presentation, spend less than 1/2 of the time on presenting your value proposition and the majority of time on a Q&A to address their , concerns and possible objections.
This will make a major difference the changes to win.
Tips we wrong on presentation (“How to prepare a great presentation”) will help you.