Anyone can slap together a simple price quote and a cover letter and ship them off via email, but that’s not a strategy that’s likely to succeed. Most other proposal and quote solutions ignore the most important parts of a persuasive proposal.
So how do you create a proposal that will land your next customer or secure your business loan or grant money or get your project approved - especially when you are a small business without a history with your prospect?
We all want to do business with people we trust. Your proposal must convince readers that you are worthy of their trust.
Here is what using our professionally created proposal packages will do for you:
- Demonstrate your integrity and experience by using our Company History, Credentials, Capabilities, and Awards and Achievements templates to describe yourself and/or your organization.
- Communicate the advantages and benefits of your proposal through the straightforward language of our Opportunities and Benefits templates.
- Clearly and concisely define scope and expectations in your proposal through use of our Goals and Objectives and Expected Results templates.
- Satisfy the specific requirements of any request for proposal (RFP) by using our many detailed templates and support documents.
- Highlight your ability to complete the proposed project by detailing how and by whom the work will be accomplished with our many templates including: Project Plan, Implementation Plan, Schedule of Events, etc.
- Describe your dedicated project resource strategy in areas of personnel, equipment, financial backing, etc., using our templates for Equipment, Facilities, Financial Information, and Personnel, to name a few.
- Demonstrate your understanding of the more complex aspects of the project by using our templates for Blueprints, Diagrams, Illustrations, Samples, etc.
- Establish and solidify your reputation by presenting similar projects you have finished and recommendations received from satisfied clients and partners with our templates covering: Company History, Testimonials, Referrals, and References.
- Demonstrate your accountability capabilities by using some of the many templates available such as: Accountability Matrix, Testing Plan, Evaluation Criteria, Acceptance Criteria, Reporting Plan, etc.
- Guarantee your methodology and results using our many Guarantee and Warranty templates.
- Enhance your credibility by highlighting your brands, strategic alliances, and/or memberships through use of our Templates for: Brand Strategies, Strategic Alliances and Accreditations.
- Prove your loyalty and good will by using our Special Offer and Discount templates
- Show your commitment to community via charitable donations and in-kind contributions you have made by using our Donations or Contributions templates.
- Draft a professional and convincing cover letter for your proposal that clearly and succinctly introduces and summarizes your offering, using our many Cover Letter templates.
If possible, add a personal touch by requesting a face-to-face meeting to present your proposal. Shaking hands with the other party can go a long way toward finalizing a deal. But in-person meetings are not always possible, especially in the world of global business, so often your printed proposal needs to do all the work for you.
How do you inspire trust? And particularly, how do you inspire trust in people who don’t know you at all?
First of all, demonstrate that you have integrity and experience. To do this, provide honest, easily understood information about your background, your strengths, and your intentions. To do this with Proposal Kit, you could use the Company History, Credentials, Capabilities, and Awards and Achievements templates to describe yourself or your organization. Use concrete, straightforward language to describe how your proposal will benefit everyone (Opportunities and Benefits templates).
Clarity is important. Be sure to set forth clear expectations that both parties can understand, with results that can be measured. You may want to use the Goals and Objectives or Expected Results templates to provide a concise summary, and then use other pages to supply more explanation. Be as detailed as possible to ensure that you and the reader have a shared vision of what you are proposing. If you are responding to a request for proposal (RFP), show your thoroughness by carefully considering the information provided and by specifically addressing each requirement. If you are unclear about any requirement, get more information if possible so that you can include appropriate data instead of vague generalities.
In every proposal, you should encourage feedback from the other party, and explain that you are willing to listen and modify plans as needed to make the project successful for everyone.
Show your ability to complete the proposed project by explaining how and by whom the process will be accomplished. Proposal Kit products contain many templates you can use for this purpose, such as a Project Plan, Implementation Plan, Schedule of Events, and so forth. Describe the resources—such as equipment, financial backing, or experienced personnel—that you will employ for the project (Equipment, Facilities, Financial Information, and Personnel, just to name a few templates you might use).
Be thorough. Demonstrate that you understand the complexity of the project under consideration. If blueprints, diagrams, or photographs would demonstrate your ideas better than words, be sure to add those (using templates such as Blueprints, Diagrams, Illustrations, Samples, etc).
Establish your reputation by listing similar projects you have finished and recommendations from your satisfied business partners (Company History, Testimonials, Referrals, and References templates). If you have copies of complimentary newspaper or magazine articles about your company’s projects or history, you might want to include those as well.
We are all more likely to trust others who hold themselves accountable for their actions. Legal contracts generally spell out the terms of accountability, and Proposal Kit contains many different types of contracts that you can adapt for your needs. You can also show your accountability by explaining how and when results will be analyzed. Some of the many templates available for this are Accountability, Testing Plan, Evaluation, Acceptance Criteria, and Reporting. Describe what you will do if wrongs need to be righted or the process needs to be changed. You might offer a guarantee of satisfaction or a warranty to fix any defects in a product—Proposal Kit includes Guarantee and Warranty templates for that purpose.
If you are already allied with respected brands or organizations, highlight that (Brand Strategy or Strategic Alliances templates). Memberships in organizations with good reputations can go a long way to establish respectability—be sure to list any you belong to on the Accreditations template.
If it’s appropriate, you may want to demonstrate your loyalty to good customers by providing a volume discount or other special offer. The Discounts template can be used for those descriptions.
Finally, we all tend to trust organizations and people who are good citizens. Do you donate to charity, lead a nonprofit organization, or lend a hand in your community? If so, point that out using the Donations or Contributions templates. Have you won any awards or experienced any publicity for your good deeds? Include any evidence that shows you are a contributor to a cause larger than your immediate organization.
Presenting a proposal package that is full of errors will make even the best plans look unprofessional. Whenever possible, have others review your proposal and provide feedback, and get someone with a good eye to check your final version for grammar and spelling errors. Before you ship off the proposal, ensure that all pages are numbered appropriately and all pieces are present and in order. Prospective partners will have more confidence in your ability to complete a project when you show that you are professional in your planning and presentation.
Above all, be polite and show your respect in your Cover Letter by thanking prospective business partners in advance for their time and consideration and inviting their questions and feedback on your presentation. You may want to send a handwritten thank you note and follow up with a phone call.
Use every aspect that your Proposal Kit product offers to help establish your credibility and dependability with your prospective business partners. Proposal Kit is more than just a collection of templates - countless best practices are built into the material helping prevent new proposal writers from making many common mistakes.
Because it’s all about trust.