Pranks, Winks, and Knowing Artifice:
Last month I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking with Tom Sant, world's top expert on proposal writing. Understand the concept A proposal is a sales tool not an information packet.
The purpose of the proposal is to make a persuasive case that leads to a sale. To win the business, your proposal must overcome the following hurdles: Do I know who this is? If this is the first time the English proposal has heard of you, your proposal will be thrown out. Is this proposal compliant?
If the customer provided a template for the proposal, proposals that don't follow that template will be thrown out. Does this proposal make sense? If the executive summary does not define the problem correctly or propose a reasonable solution, the proposal will be thrown out.
Does the solution provide value? Of the proposals that met the minimum as defined above, the one that wins will be the one that provides the most value.
The remaining steps provide a method for creating a proposal that overcomes all four hurdles. The proposal will not win if you fail to uncover the customer's true decision criteria and decision-makers.
You must therefore research the customer--preferably be interviewing people in the various groups involved in the decision--to understand what's really going on. Please note that different groups will likely have different "takes" on what's needed and will use different terms to describe the situation.
If your proposal will be evaluated by both engineers and accountants, for instance, you'll need to understand both, and be able to communicate with both. Lay the appropriate groundwork.
Your proposal will be thrown out unless you've done marketing and sales activities that establish recognition in the mind of the decision-maker.
There are two ways to do this: Create a public presence. This consists of advertising, social networking, public relations, sponsoring conferences, sending speakers to conferences, publishing newsletters, and so forth. Create a personal presence. This consists of establishing recognition through sales calls, customer meetings, emails, notes, texts, and phone calls.
Now that you've done your research and laid the groundwork, brainstorm the client's situation and your own approach to helping them. Use these questions to get the discussion started: What is the customer's problem or issue?
Why is this problem important to them? What parts of the business are affected by this problem? What corporate goals are not being achieved due to this problem? How will the customer measure the success of the solution?
Of these success measures, which is most important to them? What, precisely, will we propose? How will we do this work? What proof can we offer that we are qualified and competent?
What quantitative promise value proposition are we willing to make?The English Proposal is the story of a young woman's awakening - both to God and to the world around her. The world is a harsh place that contrasts sharply to her sheltered upbringing.
The world is a harsh place that contrasts sharply to her sheltered upbringing/5(87). A proposal is a sales tool not an information packet. The purpose of the proposal is to make a persuasive case that leads to a sale. To win the business, your proposal must overcome the following.
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