Bid Proposal Writing
Bid proposal writing in response to a request for a proposal is importantly different from responding to a formal tender.
Whereas a formal tender asks you for specific information, a formal request leaves it pretty much up to you to configure the response. There are all sorts of pitfalls to which this can lead. Many bid proposal writers are tempted to start off with the pedigree of their company, and to follow with a detailed description of what they can provide. This may all be relevant, and have its place in the response, but starting off with it means that the prospective client’s needs have, so far, been completely ignored.
A good way of ensuring that the bid proposal writing is properly configured is to use a structure. My preferred structure follows the NOSE acronym. This works as follows:
- Needs – Start off with a description of you prospective client’s needs. What are the features of the product or service that is required? Remember, at this stage you are not talking about what you have to offer.
- Outcomes – Confirm that you know why your prospective client wants this. What benefits will it lead to? How will it be of help to the individual and to their business?
- Solution – This is your opportunity to sell your product or service. How will what you are proposing meet the needs described above, and deliver the outcome required?
- Evidence – This is when you tell your prospective client all about why your product or service is good for them, and to provide all the relevant supporting information. This may be where it is appropriate to include your company pedigree.
In bid proposal writing the needs and requirements of the client are all important. Anything that goes into the proposal must be relevant, and positioned so that it is clear to the prospective client why it is included.
This way the proposal becomes highly persuasive and maximises your chance of winning the bid.