In part one of Making Your Bid Proposal as Outstanding as a Best Seller, we examined how readers go through seven steps in 30 seconds to decide whether they want to purchase a book. Now we will look at how the content in your bid proposal can grab the reader through a great use of eye-catching graphics.
A selection committee wants to know that you paid attention to their requests. Make your proposal read like a best seller by building your response around a theme. The theme shows how your firm is the only logical choice to meet the needs stated in the proposal request.
Using eye-catching graphics in your bid proposal:
People look first and read second. Make your claims substantial, quantifiable and demonstrable. Take the work out of reading your proposal by including great graphics to illustrate your points. How much, how many, how often?
Insert outstanding and professional graphics, charts, graphs and pictures to clearly demonstrate your competence and outstanding allegations.
Using Client Testimonial in your bid proposal:
Their word is better than your word. Insert client testimony repeatedly throughout your bid proposal. Testimony is Powerful. Go beyond a simple testimonial page by using pull-quotes, (pull quotes are those large quotes you see pulled from articles in magazines and surrounded by white space to catch the reader(s) eye.) Place these remarks throughout the proposal, even right on project pages.
Demonstrating Benefits in your bid proposal:
Show benefits achieved for the client. Use your eye-catching graphics to show dollars saved and timelines beat. When demonstrating benefits, think from the client(s) perspective.
Showing Related and Relevant Projects in your bid proposal:
When providing Related and Relevant Projects, do not leave it to the committee to make the cognitive leap as to why you are showing these projects. You are thinking--here is my last great zoo. They are thinking--sure, I see a zoo, but where is their monkey cage experience? They must not have read that this is a barrel of monkeys project. Use the checklist system to graphically indicate how your project is exactly relevant to their needs and is very similar to their project.
Develop a checklist and indicate with graphic and bold check marks:
same dollar amount
same construction type
same construction method (or delivery method)
same city, jurisdiction agencies
Using Graphics to Cover Any Technical and Methodological Issues:
Technological and methodological issues are crucial, yet can be extremely dry reading. Create eye-catching graphics to visually show how you handle technical issues, always showing how your methods result in money saved, schedules condensed, and problems avoided.
Using Organization Charts in your bid proposal:
Use Project Titles rather than Staff Titles. The title you use must indicate the role they will play on this project, not the role they play in your firm.
Using white space and photos to illustrate your bid:
Break up blocks of text in each section of your bid proposal. White space is as powerful as blocks of text.
People like to look at other people. Include photos of people engaged in action and effectively conducting business. Meetings being conducted, handshakes, people poring over plans, design leaders pointing up to buildings as they are being constructed--show people in action, making decisions!