This little piggy…
Most people are familiar with the nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy.” In this nursery rhyme, a parent counts the number of toes on their child, all leading up to the pivotal climax when the last piggy goes “wee, wee, wee all the way home,” and the child gets tickled. This may be a fun game to play with kids, but it is also a lesson on writing customer-focused proposals.
We, we, we
Wording is very important in writing proposals. Naming the customer first and more often than your own company or product is one way to ensure your proposal is focused on them. To create more customer-focused proposals, review the opening sentences of each paragraph. Do many of them begin with “We,” “Our,” or your company’s name? If they do, you could very well be going “we, we, we all the way home” because your proposal is not focused on the customer and may not win.
But what if they ask?
It’s easy to get tricked when the RFP asks you to describe your company. You may want to launch right into the history of your company because that’s what makes it exceptional and unique. However, the customer really wants to know why your offer is credible and what makes it the best option.
As you describe your company, focus on what you can do for the customer. What will they get if they accept your proposal? An easy way to do this is to never describe yourself. Instead, describe what is important to the buyer about your qualifications and approaches. Can you provide proof from past clients that quantify your qualifications and approaches?
Don’t get sent home
Be sure that you are not overemphasizing your organization. A customer-focused proposal should highlight how accepting your proposal will help the buyer reach their objectives. Having too much “we, we, we” in a proposal shifts the attention away from your customer. As the nursery rhyme foretells, doing this can send your proposal “all the way home.”