Business Proposal: How to Win the Proposal Writing Game


Do you know what is the difference between a good business proposal or a tender and an average one? A good proposal will be a game-changer for your company. Knowing the art of writing a convincing business proposal can turn the tables for your business in no time.

Have you spent a great deal of time writing a proposal only to have it rejected or worse, not getting a response from a potential client? It will certainly not matter how good or bad you are at it if you do not get hired from the clients. 

It is important to evaluate your thought process while planning to write a proposal for your potential clients. It is crucial to understand the requirements of a contract and the client. More often than not, the information provided in a business proposal is written in a language, which is hard to understand for the clients. Moreover, the actual information required is poorly presented or absent altogether.

So, how do you actually win at the game of writing business proposals?

Effectively writing a proposal is like an iceberg—for every 20 minutes spent on writing the proposal, it involves 80 minutes of thorough planning and research. Here are five major points to remember to write a business proposal like a pro and win clients—

Estimates vs. Proposals: Understanding the Difference

Before understanding other important details of writing a great proposal, it is important to understand the difference between an estimate and proposal.

  • Estimate: It is basically a pre-invoice, the information is usually broken down in a single page that has details of items required for a project and their estimated cost. Quick and simple to create, it should be sent across to a client only after you have been successful in striking a chord with them.
  • Proposal: It is a multi-page document that explains the project requirements, the technique you will use to accomplish the project, estimated timelines and cost, including the information about your company.

It is important to note, many companies and individuals send across an estimate rather than an actual business proposal, leading to disappointments. If you put some effort and time into writing a crisp and informative proposal, you will increase your chances of getting a project by 90 percent.

  • Pro Tip: If you are unsure how to write a winning business proposal, you can always enrol in tender writing training. It will help you understand your strong points and how to write a business proposal or tender response that can do wonders for you.

Understanding Your Client

Remember one key rule for success when it comes to working out your client’s thought process. What they really need and what they describe to you in a situation can entirely be two different things. A little bit of research on the industry trends and your client’s background will be path-breaking for you to create a winning business pitch.

Using Your Clients Words

While you would have an excellent pitch and a smart thought process to write your proposal, you will be amazed to know, using the exact words your clients used to describe their requirements will yield tremendous results. Wherever possible parrot their words back to them and be ready to brace the amazing impact of your intelligent move. Understanding one basic aspect will help you—you cannot just write your proposal on the basis of what you understand, but you also have to mould your words to what your clients will understand. A business proposal is more than just excellent words and a great plan. It also involves smart work and using the words of your clients to your advantage.

Execute Your ‘Win’ Theme

Before you start planning and writing a business proposal, have you thought about the most important question, “What is your strength?”

Knowing your strengths will help you compete better with others in the marketplace to help you win the client. This is the first step to determining your win themes. All you need to do is to decide on two or three unique factors that will pave the way to your client’s heart and persuade them to accept your proposal as the best amongst the others.

Structure and Tone

You must set a tone and structure for your proposal wherever possible. This is a crucial aspect which can make or break the deal for you and impact the decision of those evaluating your bid. If you are aware of the factors that will be the founding base of their evaluation then set out a tone and structure wherever possible to match their criteria.

If you’ve been given a set structure for your business proposal then stick to it. It is important to do so because you are competing against many others in the market. Those who will be evaluating your proposal will be comparing it with others and would not like any added workload to search for the information they require in your business proposal.

Final Thoughts

Writing a game-changing business proposal is not only about how talented and creative you are (those are the important aspects, of course), but how smart you are with your proposal and the intention of listening to your clients closely. A great business proposal is a handiwork of understanding the industry basics and a thorough background check of your client. Knowing your client and understanding the aspects unique to you will surely help you win at the business proposal writing game. Just remember to breathe and be confident, do what is right for your client and stick to the rules. It will help you win many clients in the long run.

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