The list is based upon a conversation he had a couple of years ago with sales proposal guru Tom Sant.
- Does the customer know who we are?
- Is the customer expecting us to bid on this?
- Does the executive summary address customer needs?
- Is the executive summary one page or less?
- Have we replaced all the jargon that’s meaningful only to us?
- Are we sure that another vendor doesn’t have the inside track?
- Does the proposal follow the customer’s specified format and outline?
- Have we removed all the meaningless marketing fluff (e.g. “state-of-the-art”)?
- Has someone edited out other customer names from boilerplate material?
- Is the writing clear and forceful rather than flat and technical?
- Has the proposal been edited so that it contains no glaring grammatical errors?
- Can the proposal convince the customer that we can actually deliver?
- Does the proposal define how we’ll measure customer satisfaction?
- Is the proposal being submitted on time and to the right people?
I am also a big believer in a clear layout, proper indexing, creative packaging and good follow-up. It’s a good idea to browse through stationery and office supply stores to find different binders and covers that will make your proposal stand out. Whenever possible I use a 1/2″ 3 ring binder.
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