Overall Image, Presentation & Content When Submitting A Proposal or Tender

First impression is a lasting impression. When submitting a proposal to a prospective client or a tender, a number of factors need to be considered. Overall image of a business is at stake

Solutions By The Panel Of Experts

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Before submitting a proposal to a prospective client there are several things you need to consider, because the first impression is a lasting one.

Diann Bates from Creative Fruition addressed this topic from a creativity and design perspective said:

A professionally designed tender can help deliver results by creating a positive reflection of your business!

Content is extremely important, but not at the expense of a visually lack luster tender or creating a personal connection, which is critical to making sure your submission works hard for you.

Faced with a pile of documents, a reviewer will be looking for a wow factor within the scope of the tender.

Creativity will help grab their attention and make you stand out. This can also help you be taken more seriously, if you are not the cheapest or the most experienced.

You can prepare tenders yourself, but professional creative input is a worthwhile investment, even if it is to just get a template designed which can be reused.

Plan ahead and take the time to get it right, you only get one chance to make a first impression! Clever use of professional photography, section breaks, colour, typography, tables, diagrams and client testimonials, will help set you apart from others.

Finally and most importantly, make sure your branding is up to scratch compared to your competitors, after all, your brand is the essence of who your business is and what you are trying to sell to the reader!

Jamie Vine From an overall image perspective added that, “Perception is reality, and what the tender has represents the business.”

There is a lot of risk in business; it is risky for anybody to use a new supplier. So credibility is an important aspect for your business and people need assurance that you can deliver. While making tenders it is important to keep the documents logical. Write content section first, beginning with headers to get things in the right order. Don’t get carried away while writing.

A proposal offers more freedom than a tender so content is king. Make sure your logo tells about your brand and mirrors your goals and values. Avoid buzzwords, and acronyms unless they are appropriate and stand for what you are talking about without confusing the reader. Most importantly keep to deadlines and deliver tenders on the right time.

Sue Findlay from a component of a tender perspective said:

We should first think about the reader: what is it they want?

1) They want to be able to read it easily. So keep it short, punchy and concise. Use lots of headings so they easily. Keep the “blah blah” about your company out of it. Perhaps you might like to include a company profile at the back they can refer to if they need to. However, you should have a good enough relationship with the buyer that they already know you and your company so no introductions should be necessary.

Spend some time ensuring your grammar and syntax are of professional quality. You don’t want your proposal to go to a “grammar nazi” who gets upset when they see the English language used incorrectly.

2) They want to be able to see your value proposition: so ensure you are very clear on what separates you from the other.

Put your value proposition up front. Be sure to tell the reader why you should be given the work, and make sure you sound different to everybody else.

Give them a price breakdown so they can see the detail and thought that has gone into preparing your costings.

They may also see what your competitors have missed when they provide a cheaper price.

What do You want?

Well, obviously you want to win the work, so content is king. But you also want to remain memorable.

For your proposal to be memorable:

Wow them with a catchy but not too slick presentation. If you look too slick and expensive, you risk turning them off because your company may come across as cold and arrogant.

Include photos of your work, your people, your premises, and anything else that provides a personal touch.

Lastly, the ultimate convincer is what others say about you. Include some testimonials as subconscious convincers.

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