July/August 2003  Volume 29, Issue 5
July/August 2003 Issue
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5 Things
What you need to know to get and keep new business
by Ann Lee Gibson

Proposals That Get You Hired
Busy decision makers appreciate well-organized, succinct new business proposals. Here are five tips that, if followed, can improve your proposals.

  1. Include a comprehensive executive summary. It may be the only chapter that busy decision makers read.
  2. Describe your solutions for this client. Respond specifically to this particular client's needs, wants and preferences. Don't focus overly much on your firm's boilerplate qualifications.
  3. Create an eye-catching package. Reviewers remember most the proposals they read first. Create attractive proposal packaging and a cover that will grab their attention.
  4. Keep your proposal short. When asked which proposals they read first, corporate counsel almost always answer, "The shortest ones."
  5. Write in straightforward, easily readable language. Be specific. And be brief-sentences should average 15 to 20 words.

In 5 Things, Ann Lee Gibson, Ph.D. ( agibson@newmex.com), principal of Ann Lee Gibson Consulting in Taos, NM, distills practice development advice into easily digestible bites.