I have been writing a lot of proposals for new business lately and it’s easy to get lost in the details when you are trying to impress a new client and win their business. It’s gratifying to have the opportunity to write proposals but when you are working on them back-to-back for different types of clients, in different industries, you can go from steamrolling through them to feeling like you’re slogging through mud.
So I thought it useful to write questions and answers to myself as I went along. This helped me to stay on track and think strategically, rather than get lost in the romance of the tactics.
Some of the scribbles were pretty humorous.
SO WHAT? I wrote on one sticky note.
This is a good reality check that things are getting too wordy.
WHO CARES? Sported another neon square.
This made me think of a saying from one of my earliest marketing mentors. He would ask: “Does it pass the red-face test?” In other words, can you describe it, champion it and believe in it without turning red?
REALLY? I usually scribble this one when I think that the proposal is getting off track and is out of line with what the prospective client would do.
While these things seem rather silly, in the end, three questions come to mind which are at the core of every communication plan.
- Create awareness — For someone to care about it, they need to know about it. Whatever it is. Product, service, cause or belief.
- Enhance reputation – It goes without saying that any communications effort should serve to strengthen a company’s reputation, and therefore, its market position.
- Meet business objectives – This is the action part of the plan. Whether it’s leading a consumer to buy a product or service, or a nonprofit to motivate someone to make a donation of time or money, if it’s not a business objective, it shouldn’t be a communication objective.
So there. Three little phrases to get your proposals — and all your plans — back on track.
What’s even better is that they all fit on a sticky note.
How do you stay on track when juggling multiple proposals?