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How to address a business proposal effectively

I used to think writing a business proposal to the Chief Executives of any company is the best appropriate method of getting business. It was not until my managing director at SCL, Mustapha B. Mugisa clearly explained what the concept of a business proposal. He asked, “How do you define a proposal?” A proposal is a conceptual agreement between the two parties involved.

“From experience, if you are to write a good proposal that suits the customers ‘needs, it is always important to know what your client really wants. In most cases, we write proposals assuming that this is what the customer wants yet this is not actually their biggest problem,” Mustapha explained.

In this competitive business environment, the ability to winning proposals could mean the life, or death, of your business. There is need to take an extra mile if your ‘company’ is to have the desired market share.

These are the simple procedures that good marketers do to suit the clients’ needs and improve their businesses;

It is ones’ duty to know who is the final decision maker in the company. The person who can say ‘No’ or ‘Yes’. This is particularly important because any body in the company can say no. For example if you approached a receptionist to discuss about strategy, s/he definitely will say no. The receptionist in the first place doesn’t have a wider picture of the whole business affairs. This is why you need to know who will buy your products/services.

However, the very many times we have sent proposals to managing directors without establishing prospects. This is a great mistake and it reflects a sign that:

You are incompetent. This is because you do not understand your products/services fully. You can not explain clearly why people should deal with your company. You fear to speak to people they call MDs.

You are hiding behind letters. You are not able to read and present yourself without a letter. You simply do not know what the client wants and therefore you won’t sell. You need the proposal to do it for you.

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