Proposal writing samples or examples you find in a web search seem to offer a quick and easy way to prepare a proposal. This is particularly true if you are new to the job or are not familiar with how to approach the task.
You can find plenty of samples and examples on the Internet. Many universities offer samples to help you. You should be able to find samples for scientific research, grant, book, or job proposals.
While each of these disciplines requires many components in common, each focuses on rather different ways of approaching the writing assignment. The amount, type, and structure of the content can vary significantly.
Business proposal writing involves more than creating or copying a format or an outline to be successful.
6 Tips to Find the Best Proposal Writing Sample
When reviewing the samples you find on the Internet, also consider the following tips:
1. Compare the samples or examples to see how closely they align with your business. The format and content must reflect the needs of your client’s RFP and the products or services you offer.
For example, the sample might suggest a section where you could talk about free samples or trial offers. If you sell nuclear generators, this section definitely does not apply.
2. Check the credibility of the source.
For example, the source may bring outstanding credentials in sales or graphic knowledge but fall short in correct and effective business writing.
3. Include employees or partners from across disciplines to proofread your drafts and final documents multiple times.
Always include representatives from sales, marketing, customer service, finance, legal, engineering, manufacturing, and production as members of your proofreading team. Each brings specific knowledge and experience that could spot serious roadblocks to submitting a successful document.
Spotting these errors early in the creation of your proposal allows time to correct or improve your submission.
4. Study the RFP as a guide on how to structure or format your proposal. Many times, the originator of the RFP requires bidders to follow a specific structure or format. And, they will clearly spell that out in the RFP.
If they don’t, you can follow the format of the RFP as your outline when writing your proposal. In some instances, you can use the Headers from the RFP as your outline.
HINT: Pay special attention to the order in which the Headers appear. They indicate what is important to the client and how the client will review your submission.
5. Develop a strong business relationship with the organization requesting the proposal. Developing that relationship, either in person or on the phone, can yield valuable insights into what the client wants, needs, and expects. This can include information you might not find in proposal writing samples.
6. Always request a post-selection meeting or review. This is particularly true if you are not awarded the contract or order. These meetings or reviews can reveal valuable information about formatting, structure, or approach you might not have found in the proposal samples.
Proposal writing samples are helpful. But your clients many times offer more and better information about what your proposal should look like or how it should be structured.
About the Author:
Al Borowski works with companies who want their employees to communicate clearly and with people who want more impact in their written and oral presentations. Al has trained more than 15,000 participants as a seminar leader for The American Management Association, Dun & Bradstreet, Penn State University, The University of Indiana Executive Development Program, and Robert Morris University. He brings more than twenty years of sales and communication experience to his action packed keynote speeches and workshops. His exciting, innovative approach draws on years of practical application as a sales manager, business development manager, customer service manager, and business owner. His background also includes four years as an English teacher. He is a published author and a professional musician. His web site, http://www.proposalwritingsuccess.com/comcastvideo.htm features a free 10 minute video entitled, “Proposal Writing: Three Tips For Winning More Business.”