Creating Memorable Proposal Documents
by Susan Varty, Managing Partner
Sometimes you can’t be very innovative when it comes to responding to a proposal. So, here are some ways you may be able to stand out from your competition within a formal response structure.
- Show, don’t tell/write. Use infographics that are NOT about process, your solution or your approach. Customize them to showcase the potential clients’ requirements or what their industry landscape looks like. This takes more time up front, but makes it into something they will want to share.
- Be scannable. Break up paragraphs of text with subheadings. Use bullets. People will ask themselves, “is it worth reading?”, before diving into a dense paragraph.
- Use colour. Can specific pages be printed on colour paper for easy reference? People will turn to those first because they will be curious.
- Reorder. Can you put information about your company last and the investment summary first? You will make an impact if you can re-organize your content to put your audience first.
- Include bonus content. Perhaps your cover letter is a mock-up of a press release announcing a business transformation because you provided a great solution or plan of approach. Other bonus content they would appreciate is a competitor overview/report summary. So, be sure to showcase how you went above and beyond to understand their business.
- Be different. Is there a specific tool or technology that can enhance their experience as a review team? How can you make the RFP process easier for them – even if they made it hard to respond? For example, fixing a template that was provided, setting up a private website version for sections of the RFP or bonus material they can download.
Tell another participant about a proposal that was different – why was it memorable? Write down more ideas to make proposals stand out against your competition. Share as many as you can in the time provided.
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