What’s the difference between Business writing and Academic writing? Business Proposal writing is concrete – it sticks to the facts. Academic writing is more abstract – it discusses ideas and concepts. You need to be aware of this difference especially when writing the introduction section to your Business Proposals.
Another skill is getting the right balance, so your bid appeals to the evaluators head (logic) and also their heart (emotions). The first place you must do this is in the Introduction chapter. If this section falls flat, do you think the reader will continue looking at the rest? Here’s how to get around this and give your Business Proposal a little sparkle.
Before you start writing, ask yourself what is the purpose of the Introduction?
Think of the introduction as a ‘credibility statement’. Use this section to describe your professional and organizational qualifications and then establish the significance of your core concepts. The introduction also sets the tone of your proposal. For novice writers, the orientation is often “Me Me Me”, while more successful Proposal Writers take a “You You You” perspective. Look back at some recent Proposals you’ve submitted. It is all about you or about your client and their needs?
4 Ways to Make the Introduction Sparkle
Once you start to write the Introduction, answer these four questions. Does your introduction:
- Establish who you are? The client knows your name as it’s on the cover sheet but you need to take this further; share something the reader cannot forget and makes you stand out. You want them to remember you, right?
- Describe your goals? We also know that your end goal is to get funding, that’s a given. But what beliefs and core values underpin your business? Is there some specific set of goals that drive your business? Use these to paint a picture for the readers so they understand why you’re in business and how they will benefit from working with you.
- Establish your credibility? You can do this in several ways. One is by using social proof such as sharing endorsements, recommendations and other ways you are respected in the business community. These all help to position you as a trusted source. The assumption is that if you’ve worked with Big Client, and others respect this firm, then the client should be safe if they make the same decision.
- Discuss the Problem Statement? What this means is that you’ve read the Request For Proposal, spoken to others in the business community, and determined what is the ‘real’ underlying problem. For different reasons, the Request For Proposal writers may not be able to say in black and white terms why they need this solution or service. If you’ve being working with this client for a while, you should have some inside knowledge on what are the real pain points. Now, does your Business Proposal really address these issues and get to the heart of the matter?