I’m sure most of us have seen a proposal, email or any number of business documents that are so filled with jargon that they have either lost their core purpose or are so convoluted that they become completely useless. Jargon is defined by dictionary.com as:
“Language that is characterized by uncommon or pretentious vocabulary and convoluted syntax and is often vague in meaning”
How can you alter the style and tone of your documents to ensure you are aligned with your objective? Before we get too deep, lets first talk about the difference between style and tone. Style, according to Wheaton College, can be defined as “the way in which something is written, as opposed to the meaning of what is written.” This would include the type of document you are writing, the typeface, the font size, the use of graphics, the spacing of the margins, etc etc etc. Tone on the other hand refers to the attitude of what is being written or the impression you are trying to convey to your audience.
This blog is all about setting down what you should be looking at when you are ready to pick a proposal software.
Before we set down the list, let’s go back to the basics real quick.
What is it you plan to achieve by your proposal?
Before you roll your eyes at the question, take a moment and think about it. The aim of a good proposal is to persuade the client, convince them that you are the person they are looking for. Out of the heaps and heaps of proposals on their desk, the evaluators must see yours as the one proposal that they want to put their money on. And that is worth every penny you invest in this tool.
So do you Google “the best proposal tool” and click the first one that answers your query? Well, we know it is a lot more than that. So here are some features that you should look out for when choosing a proposal tool:
“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.” (Elizabeth Bennett)”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
“The mode of declaration.” Elizabeth had it right, didn’t she? The way a proposal is presented and the tools used to communicate your commitment to the project has a huge bearing on how your proposal is met by the client. Now that entails a lot more than sitting a couple of writers down, handing them the required info and asking them to type away. It needs planning, and organization, and a lot more business intelligence than might appear. So here’s a little help to get you going in the right direction and creating that proposal that cannot be refused.
So an RFP (request for proposal) magically appears in your inbox. Our first reaction is usually “BINGO!”, we have a lead who has (some) budget and has most likely made the decision to purchase a product for their needs. As a company who prides its self on delivering a tool that makes the proposal writing and response process easier and more efficient, we will admit that we do have a bit of an edge over a traditional company who is not purposefully set up to respond to proposals. Although with that being said, there are times when we will read through a proposal and kindly reply with a politely worded “No thank you.” So what is the cut-off line between saying YES and dedicating time and resources, AKA money, and saying NO and moving onto the next?
Xait will be attending the annual APMP UK conference which is Europe’s premier event for bidding and proposal management professionals.
Although the conference is oriented around the bids and proposal industry; it is increasingly attracting delegates from across a broader spectrum of new business acquisition. This is testament to the quality and range of our speakers and the relevance of their subject matter into a broader range of work winning activity.
The conference is taking place at the charming Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwickshire, on October 24th-25th. Feel free to contact us at the event.