Telling the truth about SME life today

6 steps to writing irresistible proposals

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4. Telling tales

Behind every good presentation is a good story. Everyone loves a story. The story you must tell, however, is not about yourself – it is simply this: what your customer gains by choosing you.

To tell that story, you must first empathise with your customer. When you step in to your targets shoes, you begin to help him or her overcome his or her own challenges. The art of storytelling is simply what seals the deal.

5. A word to the wise is enough

Don’t overcomplicate. Nobody has time to read the business proposal version of War & Peace. Your targets are just as busy as you are. So avoid lengthy narratives and instead break your proposal down with key headers.

Use just one image, one theme and one objective on each page. Be clear, concise and quality. Your presentations are not an opportunity for you to show off your grandiose linguistic skills – proposals call for brief, functional language.

6. Looks can be deceiving

We are all visually-minded – yes, even businesspeople! Exploit that in your presentation by including images of people, recognisable industry artefacts or merely illustrations.

Not only do pictures help break up text-heavy proposals, they also give recipients something to connect with more immediately. But only use quality stock images.

Pedro Tavares is a director at PHC Software.

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