Successful Business proposals- 5 steps to business

by admin on February 13, 2012

Jim & Phil's Proposal Structure

In an earlier post, Phil talks about ‘Value Propositions’ and ‘VP osmosis’ as a must for people leading sales teams in the consulting world. The effective written proposal is the first test of a consultant’s understanding of value from the clients’ perspective. A successful business proposal, like a successful story of any kind, begins with a compelling framework – a structure for your proposal that sells your ideas in the context of the customer’s needs, wants and preferences. It’s applied thought, not just an explanation of what you do.

Let’s Talk Proposals

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking too much about the specifics of a proposal as we begin to write.  It’s the most common weakness I encounter in all of the proposals and pitches I see . This concentration on what the writer does for a living, rather than what that expertise, when applied, will do for the reader; this accidental ‘I’ focus,  leads us into 2 types of ‘forgetting’–

  1. Forgetting the end-purpose– which is to show the reader how you, above all of the others, can help them achieve the results that they want- so they will buy from you.
  2. Forgetting the proposal’s purpose, which is, simply, to establish a dialogue with the reader, to help them see how they can fix their problems and achieve their goals, and lead them through an engaging and relevant unveiling of what you’ll do for them .

The most effective proposals and pitches establish precisely this conversation with their audience, and that’s why my proposal structure is based upon it. Each element of this chat suggests a section essential to every business pitch and proposal: For steps 1-5 click here .

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