Writing proposals — determining your goal

Writing solid proposals is vital to winning clients. If you create even short proposals for clients, you’ll look more professional than someone who patches together a quick quote. No matter how elaborate your proposal, be sure to be clear on the proposal goal.

In defining your goal, you need to think about both the client’s needs and requirements AND your objectives. You need to convince the client that you understand their needs and can meet their requirements (for both this proposal and the project). And, unlike the kind of proposal you’d do in a regular job, you also need to convince the client that you’ve got the credibility, experience and qualifications to do the job. Then you’ve got to mix that together with your own marketing messages.

Why your own marketing messages? You want your proposal to be integrated with all the other messages you send. It needs to align with your business cards, website, brochures and personality. Everything needs to come together. It’s a lot easier to hit a target with aligned fire than with occasional hit-and-miss shots!