I’m currently writing my next column about writing effective proposals for Sanitation Canada magazine (they focus on the janitorial service industry) and was thinking back to a powerful technique that was used for a very large and successful proposal I worked on.

We included a mock newspaper announcement with the cover letter. It assumed we had already been chosen as the successful bidder and highlighted the benefits of the decision by the client just like it would look in the newspaper announcement. The nice thing about this is that it was so unique it would be read and remembered by the reviewers. If you prefer, you could also make it into a press release format, but making it look like a newspaper excerpt has more impact.

Of course, being this bold has a certain amount of risk and has to be done carefully, but the message (savings and service quality improvements) would have stuck in the minds of the reviewer and when they read the large 200 page proposal, they would be looking for the evidence we provided and clearly link what we said in the proposal with those messages. That’s a powerful way to make sure they remember those things when they’re checking off the evaluation matrix and assigning scores.

You could use this technique to focus on any part of your benefits to the client (make sure they are true benefits to the client, not just features). Because it will be unique and new, it’s more likely to be read. In my book, I talk about using pull-out boxes and sidebars to highlight information – you could use this idea and include a mock newspaper announcement within the main proposal instead of as part of the cover letter.

Of course, you still need a powerful proposal and a very well crafted cover letter to complement this technique.


Our Book "Win More Business - Write Better Proposals". is now available at Amazon in many countries, including the USA , Canada, UK, Japan, Germany and France. You can also order it directly from the author on this website

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