The Power of the Proposal10 Mar 2021
Whether you know it or not, the ability to write a proposal that’s eye-catching and actionable is a critical skill in the business world. That’s true whether you’re an entry-level employee or a member of the C-suite.
You likely do know just how important persuasion is for any kind of business relationship. Being able to influence others’ decision-making with high-quality business writing is just an extension of that. In that sense, you may want to view proposal-writing as another key part of your communication skills.
Why a great proposal matters
Whether you’re trying to get your boss to approve funding for a project you believe will help your company take a big step forward, or you’re putting together sales proposals on a regular basis, it’s critical that your writing be simultaneously persuasive and clear. Bizfluent noted that a well-written proposal gives the intended audience a sort of bird’s-eye view of what you’re envisioning for any project, from what it might cost to the potential benefits (and even drawbacks) that it might involve.
Armed with all the right information, decision-makers can feel more confident in signing off on your proposal. This not only allows you to work toward the goals you think are important, but also potentially bolsters your standing within the company, potentially positioning you for a brighter future.
How to write better proposals
Now that you have a better understanding of why good proposal writing is important, it’s time to think about how to follow through. Below are just a few suggestions for getting it right:
1) Know your audience
If you’re writing any kind of business communication, it pays to know who you’re talking to and what their expectations might be, according to Write Copy. If this is an internal proposal that only your boss and a few co-workers will read, you can tailor it to those people with the understanding that you know them well. However, if it’s intended for a business partner or prospective customer, you will likely need to come across quite differently.
2) Get your point across easily
One of the key benefits of writing a proposal is that by the time you get to the end of it, you should have a better idea of all its benefits. That, in turn, means you can go back and emphasise the things that jump off the page as being the most important — and you should lean into those facts.
But if you want to do that, you have to be aware that most people aren’t going to read every single word you write. Don’t write long paragraphs or sentences, and instead break up the best information or data into easily digestible snippets.
3) Present a problem and your solution
When you’re writing a proposal, you are fundamentally trying to say, “I have identified a problem, and here is how I would fix it.” As business coach Anthony English advised, you therefore need to be quite explicit about those two things. When you clearly draw distinctions between the current state of things and what you would do to improve them, there’s something actionable built into every aspect of the proposal.
With all of the above in mind, it’s easy to see why and how a good proposal goes a long way. Unfortunately, writing better proposals is not always high on companies’ priority lists when it comes to employee training, from the mailroom to the boardroom. As such, now is the time to get in touch with ICML and book a proposal-writing training course for your workers. We offer a specific course on how to write better proposals overall, as well as one targeted toward sales proposals and presentations.
Contact us today to learn more.