When creating outstanding bid proposals, your proposal package should be as visually appealing as a tempting book displayed in a bookstore. You want your attention-grabbing proposal to read like a best seller.
Observing what readers do when considering a book purchase can tell you much. A book buyer will spend less than 30 seconds deciding whether a book is for them.
1. First, they will be attracted to the front cover.
2. They are drawn to the spine and book title second.
3. Next, they will open the inside cover to read the jacket.
4. They will then flip the book over and look at the copy on the back.
5. They will go back and read or scan the first page.
6. They will open it in the middle to determine if the format and writing style is easily read and understood.
7. Finally, they will read, scan and flip to get a feel for the overall content and level of information included.
All seven of these steps will let them know if they want to select this book, and they will do these seven steps in less than 30 seconds.
Your Proposal Response, often called an RFP or Request for Proposal will most likely be bound and the reader will follow the same 30-second initial scan. To be a winner, your RFP proposal must be as compelling as a well-loved book. (Go back to the seven steps listed above and do this with your proposal.)
Now, it would be great if you could follow these same steps to make your bid proposal read like a best seller. You can use these secrets to make your bid proposal selected to go on to the finals.
Make your cover memorable. Just as one would with the cover design for a best seller, make your cover attractive and your book cover color distinctive. Remember that your company name is the name of your book. Make sure that your name and logo stands out and is large enough and clearly legible, so that it is memorable and working for you while the RFP packages are in full view of the submission review committee.
Make sure that the binding method you use for your proposal allows the package to lie flat. You do not want the reader to have to struggle with the binding in order to see your content.
The Hot Button Issues:
Just as with a best seller, you have to capture and hold the reader. Uncover and physically list what you perceive are the underlying Hot Button Issues of this proposal request. Difficult site? Tight timeline? Tight Budget? Read between the lines and add these hot button issues to your list.
Building a Theme:
Start with the Letter of Interest. Show the committee that you are covering their issues by reiterating their exact wording in your Letter of Interest and continue using their wording in your proposal responses.
The theme for your RFP response will come from the hot button list you created and how and why you are the logical choice to meet those needs. Take the list of issues and organize these points as the theme to your proposal best seller.
In Part Two of Making Your Bid Proposal as Outstanding as a Best Selling Book we will take a look at graphics and visual aids you can use to make your proposal pop like a best seller.
Leslie McKerns, owner of Florida based PR, marketing and strategic business development firm, McKerns Development, offers more free how to articles, top ten marketing tips, checklists and 5 packages for PR, press and media relations, marketing and strategic business development at