Writing Riveting Proposals
Here is a tip for writing proposals from crime novelist Elmore Leonard. When asked the secret to the pace and intensity of his novels, Leonard said . . . “I take out the parts I know my readers will skip.”
Given the wordiness and overkill of most sales proposals, that is very good advice.
We should keep our proposals taut, sharp and to the point. We should move all “bulk” to the exhibit section or remove it altogether.
Most buyers will not read the extra stuff anyway, so we should get it out of the way and get right to explaining the buyers’ needs, as they have described them, and exactly how we are going to help them meet those needs.
Most importantly of all, we should not open a proposal by talking about “us” (our company, our credentials etc.). We should open the proposal by talking about the buyer, the challenge at hand, and how our collaboration is going to rise to that occasion.
Buyers, like parents, “want to look at pictures of their kids not our kids,” so make THEM the focus of the proposal, and move credentials, references, etc. to the exhibit section where they can find them if they want them.