Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts

By Tom Sant | Go to book overview

Preface
The goal of Persuasive Business Proposals is to teach you how to write winning proposals. More than ever, effective proposal writing is a skill that you need if you hope to be successful in sales.When the first edition of Persuasive Business Proposals appeared, proposals were a staple item in government contracting and were appearing with increasing frequency in the commercial sector. Now, it has become extremely difficult to win large deals without a proposal. From high technology to waste hauling, customers in all sectors of industry now require a written proposal before they will award their business. You need to know how to do the best possible job as quickly as you can.Why are decision makers requiring proposals more frequently? Five business developments in particular have had a profound impact:
1. Federal buying behavior. First, there's the influence of the federal government's procurement policies. Billions of dollars are up for grabs each year in federal contracts for everything from defense systems to janitorial services. Virtually all of that money is awarded on the basis of written proposals. Many government contractors, especially those in the defense industry, imitate federal procurement policies and procedures when seeking subcontractors of their own. They require written proposals, and the trend trickles down.
2. Increasing complexity. A second factor that's boosted the demand for written proposals is the increasingly complex, technical nature of many of the products and services being delivered. In technology-oriented industries and those involving complex or specialized solutions, including telecommunications, transportation, insurance, information technology, and dozens more, the customer faces a bewildering assortment of information and options. As a result, decision makers ask for proposals so they can slow down the sales process and clarify what is complex and confusing.
3. More competition. The business environment has become increasingly competitive. Clients and prospects who once were willing to make buying decisions based on face-to-face contact are now delaying the decision process, encouraging competition, and—here's the irritating part—requesting formal proposals from all potential vendors. Clients want to compare sources. They want to study their options. They want to compare prices to make sure they're getting the best possible deal. Often they want to be convinced, reassured, impressed. It doesn't matter

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