I still remember early this year when I secured an opportunity for a dear friend for a contract.
The management of a renowned company had decided to have the whole facility painted again. And openings were sent out for different proposals. Being part of the management, I intimated my friend who is a painter to come up with his proposal.
His proposal was great, well-detailed, and of course more professional than the rest.
I knew all this because I was privy and had access to them all. Unfortunately, those parameters weren’t enough, and he lost the contract to someone else.
The question is what happened, and what did he do and didn’t do?
You see, writing a winning proposal is one thing, pitching the proposals for it to be considered above everyone else is another thing.
There is a lot of groundwork to do when you want to stand out amid the multitude.
Pitching is a craft that you must master. However, there are many factors to be considered in this respect.
This article examines all there is to know and do when it comes to getting pitching proposals that win ultimately.
What's in this guide?
Template for a winning proposal
A good proposal entails different parameters that must be met. Though not in their order, below are some of the templates for a winning proposal
1. Know your onions
Now you have been allowed to pitch a proposal. But the question is whether you are good at your craft. This is important because a whole lot of people can put up a good proposal with the help of others, but delivery on promise is another thing. Though this might not impact your clinching the contract, you must perfect your craft. Especially if you want to be recommended by those who have contracted you and you want to make a name for yourself.
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2. Have insider knowledge about the project
Having an insider knowledge about the project is very critical. This will help you have information that may help your choice of proposal.
For example, there might be an amount already budgeted by the company for the contract, and there might be other bureaucracies that might be involved. Having insider knowledge about all these will help you to make an informed choice regarding how the proposal must look.
One of the ways to do this is to make inquiries and get to meet a staff member who is privy to the contract or one who has access to the management. This may require some sort of sacrifice on your part. However, it may be worth doing in the end.
3. Do some background checks on the people who constitute the board
Another important aspect of getting a contract is doing a thorough background check on the people who may constitute the panel for the approval of the contract.
A friend once told me, how he takes it a rule to always try to know everything about these people. You can get information regarding their background, education, and expertise from the media or a close source in the company.
With this information, you’re better armed. And you are likely to predict how each of them will impact the pitching process
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4. Do your research and inspection
If you’re working on something tangible, then you must be there to do all the necessary measurements and estimations. This is important as it’s critical to make an informed choice on the cost of the material to be used.
Get to know the current price of materials that will be needed for the work, and put all these into consideration when writing the budget.
5. Craft your proposal and give an offer that stands out
Having said all the above, it’s time to write your proposals. A good proposal should be reminiscent of the actual need of the company, one that offers that solution in its entirety. It should stand out with the information you have gleaned from your research, and from having an insider knowledge about the contract.
And most importantly, the proposal should be cost-effective and it should reflect the ideal budget of the company.
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How to pitch your proposal
Now the proposal is ready. You have invested your time, money, and effort. I’m coming up with a killer proposal. But that’s just the first stage. Like the story of a dear friend I narrated, a good proposal does not necessarily mean the contract is yours. You will have to appear and make your case stand out too.
Be relaxed and speak emphatically, but slowly
When pitching for a contract, you must watch your demeanor. Never appear to be hypertensive. Be in charge, and appear relaxed when you speak with a firm tone. However, you must not be too fast. Let each word sink.
Be flexible but with a reasonable limit
When it comes to pitching a proposal, you have to be street-smart. You don’t have to be rigid and defensive. Sometimes members of the panel might just throw up words to test your resistance level. Be flexible with the budget in your finances.
Generally, you must understand the direction the meeting is heading and you must do everything to steer it in your favour
Make it concise
Pitch that win contracts are not always elaborate. They are concise and straight to the point. This is of utmost importance. Remember no one has time. There is no need to give a sermon in proposing. It’s not needed.
Your proposals may be elaborate, but your pitching must be concise, and quick. It must be straightforward and to the point.
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In today’s fast and multifaceted society, you need all the information you can glean to stay ahead of the game in any scenario. And this is also true for winning a contract. You must put in the work and make it stand out. As I said, arm yourself with insider knowledge, get to know those who may constitute the panel, and put up a proposal that will resonate with their desires and expectations.