A proposal is the act of offering or suggesting something for acceptance, adopting or performance.
A Chinese philosopher wisely once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." For independent professionals, that step is often writing a proposal. Mastering the details of how and when to deliver a proposal to a potential client will help you win new business, find and retain clients, and become an expert in showcasing your skills and abilities.
Many independents make the mistake of equating proposal activity with sales activity. Proposal development is not a giveaway, but rather a strategic tool used to gain business. It is far better to deliver one proposal per month that gains business than to develop five proposals per month without a single win.
Whether you decide to write your own or are responding to a more formal Request for Proposal (RFP) from a client, the ability to craft a standout proposal can help you clarify your company’s mission and vision, gain a better understanding of your competitors, improve the way you approach your service offerings, and ultimately win new business. A strong proposal offers a clear solution to a client’s problem, addresses specific questions they ask, and provides them with insight into your skills and capabilities.
Like resumes, top proposals must be grammatically correct, spell-checked, and visually appealing. But more importantly, they must specifically address your prospect's needs and offer a clear, tailored solution. Like resumes, the real work of your proposal happens before you ever begin writing it.
In our downloadable guide, we'll take you through how to write a proposal step-by-step. You will learn how to gather the right information before you begin writing, how to gain a competitive advantage by asking the right questions, and how to identify time-wasting requests for information (RFIs), which are often disguised as opportunities.
Use our expert tips to avoid the top-10 proposal writing mistakes, learn the ins and outs of proposal pricing strategy, and use our sample proposal as an outline for writing your own. The tips and resources in this guide will not only give you the confidence to write and deliver winning proposals, but the skills to qualify opportunities that come your way as well.
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