In this episode, I’m covering an important topic that is sometimes hard to do – put yourself in your client’s shoes and write your proposal from their perspective.

An effective proposal is written from the client’s point of view. By doing this, you will develop information and write it so it’s relevant to the client and their interests, not yours. You will be able to get your message across much better this way.First, this approach will force you to understand the client’s point of view. This comes from your research and your strategic planning. Second, the client will receive your message much better if you developed it to fit their point of view. Since the message will match the client’s concerns, background and interests, they will understand and absorb it more easily. From a client perspective, this demonstrates that you understand the client, and that your approach to business is client-focused.

Writing from the client’s point of view is often difficult for subject matter experts and technical people. They have a hard time divorcing their enthusiasm, interests and what they feel is more interesting from what the client is interested in or how the client would look at a given issue.

Take some extra time to coach these contributors or closely review their material and adjust it to the client’s point of view. This includes reducing technical details and providing information that matters to the client.

How you address this will be based on the strategic planning you did before you started writing your proposal.

Another way to make sure it meets your client’s perspective, particularly the evaluators, is to use the Mirroring technique.

This important technique helps the evaluators see, retain and use information they have read in your proposal during the evaluation phase. In other words, it’s a subtle but effective sales technique.

We’ve discussed the importance of speaking directly to the client and making it easy for them to evaluate your submission. Mirroring uses key phrases, terminology, issues and facts that are readily identifiable and already used by the client. By doing this you help the client focus on the information you’re providing by using the same terminology used by them.

Be careful to use mirroring moderately. Rather than mirroring back to the client a whole phrase used by them, pick out the key words or re-arrange the phrase slightly to fit the context. This technique works better when the client doesn’t see it as a technique, and appears natural.

In the book “Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive”, a study revealed that the use of the mirroring technique on restaurant customers significantly increased the tip food servers received.

Some of the food servers simply listened to the customer’s orders and wrote them down. Another group of food servers listened to the order, wrote it down and then repeated the order back to the customer word-for-word to confirm the order.

The food servers who repeated the customer’s orders back to them increased the size of their tips by almost 70 percent. This demonstrates the power of mirroring that you can use in your proposals.

So, as part of the mirroring process, you can take information from background material provided to you by the client, or that you have learned during a site tour, bidders meeting or research.

By taking good notes and recording key phrases and concepts used by the client, you can go beyond using the RFP material to successfully mirror the client in your proposal. This can even mean incorporating real issues or examples they identify in your own examples and description of how your services will provide benefits.

If you combine these techniques with others you’ve learned, you can write a powerful proposal that gets your client’s attention and helps you win more business.


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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