Business As Usual

Use These Tips to Draft a Winning Business Proposal

If you operate a company that does business-to-business deals, then you will need to get familiar with writing business proposals.

If, for example, a major corporation or government agency is looking to purchase services or products from a third-party company like yours, it likely will send a formal request for proposal to all potential vendors.

A business proposal is a response to such a request that describes why a company is the most qualified to satisfy a need.

Since you usually will be competing against several other companies, your business proposal must stand apart from the rest.

Check out the following tips to learn what it takes to write a winning business proposal, as well as what mistakes to avoid.

1. Learn About Your Customer

The first step is to learn about your customer. Not only should you read their request carefully and absorb all its information, but you also should research the company or agency.

Consider all the problems and challenges your customer is facing. Figure out how you can solve one or more of these problems.

Then, write a proposal that describes how your products or services can solve those problems.

2. Discuss Your Bid Price First

You don’t want to go through the trouble of writing a decent business proposal and then find out that your bid price is not acceptable.

Before you write your proposal, you should verbally discuss your bid price with the customer.

Most of the time, customers are interested in finding out the bid prices before they even read any proposals.

This doesn’t mean the bid price will make or break a deal, but it is the first step in getting a customer interested in your company.

3. Be Realistic

You will certainly want to impress your customer by describing the amazing things that your products or services can do for them. However, make sure you are realistic and honest when you make these claims.

Do not over-promise anything about the capabilities of what you’re selling. If you do, and it turns out that your products or services cannot deliver the results you promised, then you will lose that customer forever.

4. Share Your Positive Feedback

There is nothing that wins over a customer more than knowing that you have a history of successful transactions with others.

If you have a lot of positive success stories from your past deals with clients, be sure to share these stories with your customer.

The more evidence of success you can provide, the better chance you’ll have of winning over potential clients. Customers will always trust other customers more than your own sales representatives.

5. Avoid Filler Content

Your customer is going to be reading multiple business proposals. Therefore, you will want your business proposal to get to the point quickly.

It doesn’t necessarily need to be a long, drawn-out proposal for it to be good. Just write a clear and concise proposal with short sentences and paragraphs.

Avoid filler words like each, every, in order to, essentially, really, extremely, etc.

6. Personalise the Design

Don’t just send a solid white business proposal with black text. The design of your business proposal document should reflect the designs, colours and overall presence of your business.

You can download customisable business proposal templates on the internet if you don’t have any graphic designers in your organisation to make you one.

7. Get Another Professional to Read It

Before you send the business proposal to your customer, have an attorney or business expert read it first.

Not only can they proofread it for simple grammatical or spelling errors, but they can also give you advice on whether your content is good enough.

They even might recommend additions or subtractions that can make the content streamlined and effective.

Image via Pixabay CC0 License