1. The customer need is unclear

It might be a case of stating the obvious, but it’s a common pitfall. If you haven’t clearly identified the customer’s needs, you will risk forgetting important information to make a good proposal. You need to always understand the underlying question of the customer and adjust your quotation accordingly. Read more about discovering customer needs in this article. .

2. Writing Too Much About Yourself

A quotation is not an advertisement. Keep in mind that it’s not about you; it’s about the customer. It makes sense that you want to showcase your capabilities, but avoid overdoing it. The customer primarily wants to know what you can do for them. So keep the focus on the added value and distinguishing yourself from the competition. Concentrate on the customer and their needs, not on yourself and your achievements.

3. Copy-Paste and be done with it

Every proposal is unique and should align with the customer’s request. Avoid copying and pasting old proposals as much as possible, because the customer will immediately recognize it as a standard proposal. Research has shown that this is the primary reason for prospects to lose interest, as they feel there is no attention to their specific needs. And in the worst case scenario, there is a chance of accidentally including personal information from a precious client or the error of using their name instead.

4. Using only long texts

Your proposal is how you present yourself. Showcase yourself accordingly. A quotation in a Word document with only text is likely not representative of your organization. Incorporate your brand elements and think of ways to visually present the content, such as infographics, images, widgets, and charts.

5. Over-Selling too much at once

Being overly enthusiastic can backfire. If you try to sell the customer everything at once, you might overwhelm them. Therefore, focus on the most relevant solutions and benefits you can offer. This will help you avoid scaring the customer with selling too much at once.

6. Fail to provide evidence

Words alone are not enough. You need to support your statements with facts and figures. Utilize testimonials in your proposal. It carries more credibility when someone else speaks positive about your organization. Show that that what you offer works and delivers reliable results.

7. Making accusations

A proposal is not a criticism letter. Avoid focusing on the customer’s problems, risks, limitations, or weaknesses. Instead, try to emphasize the solutions, benefits, opportunities and strengths you can provide. This shows confidence and lets you demonstrate your ability to help the customer achieve their goals. For example:

🚫 You currently have an issue with your revenue.
✅ We can help you increase your revenue.

8. Incomprehensible Language and Spelling Errors

A proposal is not a scientific article. It should always be an accessible and understandable document for the prospect. Try to avoid difficult words, professional jargon, abbreviations and terms the customer is unfamiliar with. Also, refrain from using passive and complex sentences that reduce readability. And, of course, avoid spelling errors at all costs. They can undermine the credibility of your proposal.

9. Absence of a unique advantage

If there is no clear, unique reason for the prospect to choose your proposel, they won’t. It’s therefore important that you clearly demonstrate why you meet their needs. . Express your added value and highlight your unique advantage. Don’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Tailor your proposal to the specific needs of your prospect.

10. Information Overload

Too much information can be confusing. That’s why you need to only provide the relevant details the prospect needs to make a decision. Keep it short, simple and to the point.

11. Forgetting important information

The opposite of giving too much information, is giving information that is insufficient. Make sure you don’t forget important information and key details. Make sure you always include the following:

  • Company details for your organization and the customer
  • Date
  • Quotation number
  • Summary of the work
  • Rate or (project) price
  • Validity period
  • Disclaimer
  • Reference to terms and conditions

12. Negative Formulations

Did you know that our subconsciousness plays a significant role in 95% of our decision making? And what’s even more interesting: you process negative information even without realizing it, making it more memorable. Be sure therefore that you use positive sentences. Here is an example of how this will affect the response:

🚫 Our warranty does not cover wear parts.
✅ Our warranty includes all important components, with wear parts being the only exception.

13. Unclear follow-up

No matter how perfect you’ve made your proposal, without a good and clear follow-up, you still might not close the deal. Make sure you don’t overlook the importance of the follow-up. Indicate in your proposal that you will be in touch. A clear follow-up shows that you are eager to work with the customer.

These are the thirteen most commons pitfalls that we encounter time and again Did you know that 50% of the prospects receiving a proposal are ultimately disappointed with the proposal they receive? Make sure your prospects aren’t one of them by reflect on which pitfall you might have unwittingly fallen into and use these insights to improve your approach and proposal.

Another common mistake are texts with information overload. We keep writing about how amazing our offer is, hoping the customer finds something in those sentences that triggers them to choose us. The point is: no one wants to struggle and navigate through such a text. Dr. Tom Sant conducted a study on which proposal recipients actually read. There was a proposal of 25 pages, 50 pages, and 100 pages. Which proposal do you think everyone picked up first? Exactly, the first one.

The lesson: write compactly and persuasively. Show that you understand the customer’s needs and that you can solve them effectively. Support this with concrete evidence and leave those thick texts from your competitors behind, because you’ve shown that you understand the client and can serve them well without unnecessary complications.

The words in your proposal matter. Both the amount and the type of words you use matter. We established earlier that readers appreciate brief and simple. But instead, we often use these four text styles which go completely against what clients want to read.

Broad terms

The first is the use of broad terms. These are words that are thrown around in a text without much meaning or consideration. It’s not that you can never use these words, but sometimes adding colour to your text is necessary. Use them selectively however, to avoid selling empty phrases. If you use broad terms, at least clarify what you mean by them. Saying you’re reliable means nothing. After all, no one will admit to being unreliable in a proposal. That is not a distinguishing quality on its own. Explain therefore how you prove your reliability. Broad terms that are often used in proposals include:

Formal language

The second text style is the formal language we mentioned earlier. This solemn style is characterized by long, passive sentences with the verbs ‘have,’ ‘be,’ and ‘become’. This complex language may make us think we appear knowledgeable, but customers likely just think, “What is he talking about?”

Professional jargon

The third text style is the overuse of professional jargon. Technical terms are not off-limits. On the contrary, avoiding them altogether and being overly explanatory will give the customer the impression that they no nothing. However, excess is harmful, because the enthusiasm for your field may overshadow your message, losing a portion of decision-makers.

Tentative language

Tentative language is language where words like hope, believe, would, could, maybe, might, and probably appear.

“We hope to present you with a suitable proposal.”

Why hope? You should be confident that you’ve given the client your best proposal. Hope is delayed disappointment. Why the doubt? These are appropriately called words of doubt. The fewer of such words you use, the more concrete and convincing your proposal becomes. Don’t dwell too much on that one exception that might challenge your claim. The reader understands there are exceptions to the rule.

Make sure your proposal consist of clear text. Be persuasive and specific. . Write the kind of text you prefer reading yourself.

A sales training agency who helped companies get from product selling to solution selling, said that in a sales conversation, there has to be a certain ‘spark’ in order for a customer to request a proposal. Wat gaf de sprankeling, dat de klant besloot jou om een offerte te vragen? It is necessary to bring that spark in your proposal to help seal the deal, preferably in the opening sentence. This seems like a simple recommendation, but it rarely happens. Do you recognize the following opening sentences?

What’s wrong with these opening sentences? Firstly, they are cliché. The customer has read them a hundred times. And it is very likely that your competitors’ proposals begin in a similar way. It is unconvincing and doesn’t resonate with the client. In other words; it does not lit that spark you need.

You may want to express your gratitude politely In that case, start with something like: ‘Thank you for the information you provided this week. With these new insights, we formulated a proposal to increase your efficiency.’.

This will cultivate curiosity while directly addressing the customer’s needs.


You can also build on the effort you have already made, using reciprocity. Reciprocity is a powerful principle of persuasion. For example:

Last week, we assessed your production process. At that time, we have made some immediate recommendations. In this proposal, we elaborate on the analysis and further approach..

And if the conversation has been pleasant and informal, you can use that as well. For example:

Congratulations on Ajax’s victory in the Champions League. You must have enjoyed it. To keep the good vibes going you’ll find in this proposal how our approach increases your efficiency.

Only do this if there’s a personal connection. If not, keep it professional. Ultimately, the customer must justify their choice professionally. But if possible, use it for the likeability. Likeability is one of the persuasion principles mentioned by Cialdini. People are more inclined to say yes to someone they like and can identify with. The well-known likability factor.

A captivating example

We have an example from our practice that could be a little risky, but isn’t because the salesperson was genuinely nice and sincere.

In this example, it’s about a kitchen salesperson. In the letter, he connected with the customer by using their new home:

Congratulations on your new home; it’s truly a beautiful family house. Together, we’ve selected a suitable kitchen that will be the centrepiece of your family.

The tricky part was the way he ended his letter:

Even if you don’t choose our kitchen, I wish you much happiness in your new home.

On the edge, because it might come across as insincere. But in this case, it wasn’t. He gained sympathy and sold many kitchens this way.

Use your last persuasive opportunity

In the conclusion, seize your last chance to persuade the customer. Use your confidence: you are sending a proposal that adds value to the customer. Use initiative and ask your customer for action, like setting a date to contact them to discuss the proposal or point out the option to approve your proposal (digitally). You can round it up with the value you offer. For example: ‘You want to benefit from 20% more productivity fast, right?’ Or you can frame it in scarcity: ‘We only have 2 of the selected excavators in stock.’ In any case, seize your last persuasive opportunity.

You need to consider the types of proposals you often submit. Are they tenders or numerous RFPs with a well-defined structure outlined in the request? If this is the case, you will find that most proposal software offer limited benefits for you. . You would do better opting for content-managed software, which houses a content database allowing intelligent retrieval of relevant content for a specific request. While Winning Proposal also features a content database, it primarily serves to support tenders and specific RFPs.

If you have the freedom to fill in the details of your proposals, proposal software can enhance efficiency, enjoyment, and overall output of the proposal process.

We consider two dimensions to evaluate the best proposal software for your needs:

  • Persuasiveness
  • User-Friendliness


How does the proposal software assist you in making a compelling proposal?

By implementing the NOSE structure as a base for your proposal’s framework. And presenting it to the prospect in this order.

Through predefined content addressing customer needs. We systematically gather customer desired and wishes for various clients. At first, companies will sigh and state that there a numerous things they could name. But in the end, it’s never more than 20-25. Each requirement allows you to indicate the standard approach to achieving the desired outcome. This way, you’ve firmly defined needs and outcomes. This ensures that the good quality of argumentation is predetermined. Learning insights can be directly incorporated into the content database, benefiting the entire sales team. Of course, the person creating the proposal should always have the flexibility to customize content for customer-specific arguments.

By ensuring each proposal looks professional. A well-crafted proposal indicates how well you paid attention to the customer, helping you pass the initial screening and become the top choice.

By aligning the proposal with your brand image and style. By doing this, you leverage your reputation, which is built on previous communication during the customer journey.

By utilizing insights from previously submitted proposals Analyse previous proposals and identify which sections are viewed most and which are not. You can use the knowledge to improve and optimize your proposal.


The User-friendliness is an often underestimated, but it’s a crucial asset for good proposal software. Just ask your sales team if they enjoy making proposals. Our guess is that there will be few who will raise their hand. Making proposals is more often than not very dull work and takes up a lot of time. Getting a rejection on your proposal reflects the quality and that can be very discouraging, making it also a very high-risk thing to do.

The art in making good proposals (and enjoy it) lies in ensuring that the proposal software has a good user experience, which ensures that it is actively used to make proposals. Effective software simplifies the process, minimizing creator obstacles. If proposals can be drafted more quickly, with high-quality content and appearance, and the creator receives spontaneous compliments from the recipient, the software becomes a valuable asset. Increased proposal acceptance fuels your sales team’s enthusiasm, resulting in more submissions, heightened sales opportunities, and improved outcomes.

It won’t come as a surprise that Winning Proposal is not solely an IT company. We leverage IT to make our practical knowledge of proposal marketing accessible and usable. To make sure that every proposal you submit carries the right persuasive power.

Evaluate your approach to making proposals. How does it score on the dimensions of persuasiveness and user-friendliness? And should you identify areas for improvement, keep in mind that we at Winning Proposal recommend Winning Proposal.

In his book – The psychology of persuasion – Cialdini writes about six principles. Later, he added a seventh to that list.

We will describe these principles and illustrate how you can apply them in your proposal. It’s not necessary to incorporate all principles into your proposal. It’s best to integrate them naturally. Avoid creating an forced story. The Winning Proposal structure always includes multiple persuasion principles into a proposal. Matching the product or service and the market of the customer.

Cialdini's Principles of Persuasion

The customer feels obligated to reciprocate when you make efforts on their behalf. This could be thorough preparation, an inventory, a quick wins analysis, or a sample delivery. Cialdini deems this the most powerful persuasion principle. Use it well for your proposals. Use it well for your proposals.

People like consistency, rather than being fickle, especially in a business setting. Once we have made a stance about something, we hold on to it. You can use this by employing yes-set questions. This establishes the customer’s value judgment, making them less likely to retract.

Social proof
When inexperienced, people will look for examples and use other people as guidance for when they want to purchase a product or service. That way, people learn from their experience which will build trust. This is also the case with potential customers.

People are more inclined to buy from those they find likable. This is known as the ‘likability factor’. Employ techniques such as giving compliments and highlighting similarities will help you get the likeability factor.

People will place their trust in individuals with expertise in their field. Demonstrating expertise and experience through products like whitepapers, blogs, and reports attributes knowledge and skill to you. It will help you to build authority.

When something is limited or temporarily available, the desire to obtain it increases. We see this being used all the time. Booking.cm does this for example by using phrases as ‘Only 2 rooms left at this price’.

The Seventh principle

People prefer associating with groups of people who are like themselves. If the seller belongs to a specific network, trust is established, and the chances of orders are more likely.

To illustrate how these principles can be integrated into your proposal, we will explain how it is done in the Winning Proposal:



Social Proof:






A customer will ask themselves if they are already familiar with the brand or product. A familiar brand is a trusted choice. Imagine you want to buy an excavator for the first time. Would you have more confidence in a brand you know or in a cheaper option like Alibaba? Right, you’re likely to choose the brand you know. The need for familiarity emphasizes the importance of all the efforts you make in the customer journey and the touch points before entering the proposal phase. It shows how crucial it is for your proposal to align with the image you have previously established: in texts, design, photos, etc.

The first Impression

Especially when multiple proposals are requested, an initial screening will take place. The customer will screen the proposals on various aspects, like how it looks, if there are any noticeable details and how professional it looks. They are also likely to look for personalised elements. Like incorporating the customer’s name throughout the proposal. This will show you have paid attention and made an effort with the proposal. Once, a director who had just chosen Winning Proposal wanted to test the necessity of the first impression himself, Once, a director who had just chosen Winning Proposal wanted to test the necessity of the first impression himself, even before his salespeople started using it. He had received a request from a company he had been chasing for a long time. During our visit, we went through the demo together. The director created a proposal in Winning Proposal using the given demo and sent it to the company he eagerly wanted as a client. During our demo conversation, he received a call. They wanted to know if they always paid so much attention to their proposals because that was exactly what they were missing now. Of course, he answered yes and with that a new customer was added to their customer portfolio!

Expected Value

A question customers ask themselves a lot is: ‘What value can I expect if I choose this company?’ The value they are looking for can be related to a strategic goal, such as assisting in the sustainability policy, compliance, or innovation. Or it can be a tactical goal: more efficiency, delivery reliability, employee satisfaction, etc. Depending on what you can provide, express the added value in terms of money or in qualitative result. Such as percentage increase in delivery reliability or a higher quantitative output. It can also be a combination of values. Because these can be used as a screening requirement, it’s important to present these values at the beginning of your proposal. In Winning Proposal, we do this in a Management Summary or in a presentation of the key benefits or Unique Buying Reasons. This way, we make sure that the proposal passes through the initial screening and provides a trigger to continue reading.

The more, the better. The chance for an initial screening is precisely why you should never copy and paste a proposal from previous proposals. The customer can immediately see that it’s a standard proposal, even if it’s comprised of several proposals. They will notice the different writing styles and sometimes even the formatting is off. You might even make the mistake of letting the name of the previous customer in the proposal. If that happens, you can forget turning them into your customer. Research even shows that this is the main reason for prospects to drop out. Because the customer will feel like that there is no attention for them and that they don’t matter. 

Another mistake you should always avoid: misspelling the name of the company or the contact person. If this happens, turning the prospect into a customer will be out of the question. Remember that copying is not acceptable because you can never provide the unique value that the customer values, which will make you fade into the masses of proposals.

How do you prove to the prospect that you can achieve what you promise? You can do that by providing the following evidence: You can do that by providing the following evidence:

Evidence from customers

Supporting your claims with evidence from customers adds credibility to your message. Consider elements like proposals, references, logos, and, best of all, case studies. The fact that your customers are willing to speak for you is great. But on the other hand, we all know, as do your prospects, how this works. You only choose customers who are happy and satisfied and who will emphasize why they choose you. Nevertheless, a testimonial from a customer is powerful. Especially when it is a reference from a customer in the same sector as the prospect or with an identical issue.

Do you want to make a proposal more powerful? Then add these references to your proposal. In Winning Proposal, we include video messages from customers. Hearing and seeing the customer say that you are the right party will convince your prospect even more. Another effective method is a case study. A case study is more informative than a testimonial. Focus in the case study on the result the customer has achieved with your help, not on what you have delivered. A standard structure to keep in mind:

Internal evidence

The knowledge and experience of your team reflect the capabilities of your company. If the project manager has successfully completed many similar projects before, then this will help your prospect feel more confident in your capabilities.

An implementation plan that you’ve applied successfully before also gives that confidence. Especially if you indicate that you continuously optimize said plan based on practice. Customers will be ensured that you are a strong partner. Finally, you can present facts about your company, like: how many customers do you have, how long have you been in existence, or how many employees do you have. If the customer sees that you are experienced and large enough to handle the job and provide stability.

Objective evidence

Certifications, membership of a professional associations or a label that is recognised in your branche: these are all evidence that you deliver quality. If you have won an award, such as an FD Gazelle Award, or if a supplier has named you a Premium or Gold Partner, mention this in your proposal. Because these are all proofs that could eliminate any lingering doubts the customer has.

We ask our clients in the Winning Proposal sessions what sets them apart. In other words, what their Unique Selling Points are. This question is often followed by a long silence. And just to provide an answer, they mention things like:

These are generic terms, meaningless words that can be applied to almost any company.
If you want to differentiate yourself, you need to be specific. For example: we deliver quality and are the only ones in the market who offer not 5 but 10 years of warranty.

But still...

It is challenging to express what sets your company apart from the competitors. What makes you more valuable to the customer? The following approach will help determine your Unique Selling Points:

Start with the needs, desires, and problems of the customer. Which ones do you deal with the most? Make an inventory of these things with your sales team. You’ll notice that your list will include around 20 to 25 customer concerns.

After you made the list, specify for each concern how you fulfil it and where the added value for the customer lies. Compare this to the claims and strengths of your key competitors. You may use a previous prepared battle card, SWOT-analyses or other sources of information to help you with this. Check on which points your competitors are stronger and weaker. Try to state it as objectively as possible. For example: If a competitor is not locally present, and you are, you fulfil the desire for a partner that’s close by more effectively.

It is essential that you avoid subjective value judgments, even if this is a very difficult thing to do. Stay alert not to engage in wishful thinking. You may have one customer who calls your competitor arrogant, but that doesn’t make them an arrogant company. If you score significantly lower on the ability to fulfil certain customer concerns, than it might be better to pass on those sales opportunities. The same goes if you notice that your prospect has a strong preference for a competitor. If so, let this lead go. Because no matter how well you fulfil their needs, the chance of landing the deal is slim. Keep in mind that you should never mention your competitor in your proposal. The value judgment you provide is biased and the customer will think so too. They might even find it rude, which will damage your image. Making you less sympathetic. . And losing sympathy means losing an important likeability factor.

The foundation for your added value is your product, service, advice, service, or method

For example: one of our clients was dreading the implementation of new business software. In their experience, new business software always used more time and budget than anticipated. This was the reason they repeatedly postponed the investment. That was until an IT company came up with a clear implementation plan, including clear phases, tasks, hours, and costs. This made the prospect of the implementation, which was first elusive and complex, clear and manageable. The added value the IT company provided was a clear implementation plan that keeps hours and costs within budget. Precisely what the client needed.

The customer wants proof of that which you claim (the E of the NOSE structure). here are three forms of evidence you can provide:

To go back to the IT company’s implementation plan, they facilitated the provision of evidence by taking the following steps.

First start with a thorough preparation

and immerse yourself in your customer. Make sure to research the following:

Don’t only look at the website, but also check their various online (social) platforms to get more information about the company.

Giving this advice might seem unnecessary. A good salesperson always does this beforehand, right? Unfortunately no. We frequently encounter salespeople who know nothing about the company. Sometimes, they even ask, “What exactly do you do?” or they propose solutions that have no relevance to the operations of the company. These are always very brief conversations. Either let them just finish their coffee and conclude the meeting or thank them for the effort and end the phone call.

After you gathered information about the customer, dive into their market. Internet can assist you in this. Discover who the major competitors are, and what market developments can be uncovered. Check beforehand if you’ve ever submitted proposals to companies in this market before. What was going on in that market and can it help you with this proposal?

With all this groundwork, you’ve acquired valuable knowledge about the customer and their market. However, avoid drawing conclusions. Resist determining the customers wishes and problems yourself and tailoring your sales pitch accordingly. The likelihood of being wrong is significant, which negatively impacts the conversation. If you jump to conclusions too soon, you’ll only hear what aligns with your pre-established notions, , ignoring other, possibly more crucial signals. Because that’s how our brains work. So, prepare, but enter the conversation with an open mind.

Incorporate the groundwork into the sales pitch

Make sure you demonstrate your preparations during the sales pitch. By sharing your knowledge about the customer and the developments in their market you show that you made an effort. The customer appreciates the effort you’ve put in, establishing a favourable impression. More importantly, the customer will most likely provide you with additional information. By being a good conversational partner, you trigger the reciprocity principle (Cialdini’s principle of reciprocity).

In the sales pitch, subtly inquire about the customer’s wishes and issues. Don’t be too direct, especially at the beginning of the sales conversation. . In sales training, you learn the standard question:

“What keeps you up at night?” If you ask this question too soon, you won’t get a good answer. Why? Because a meaningful response requires trust. Building that trust can happen quickly or can take more time time depending on the individuals involved. A skilled salesperson can sense this and can adjust the conversation and timing accordingly.

A clear need

The customer may already have a solution in mind for their need, which they then present as a customer desire. For example: “We need security software. What we have now is outdated, and the risk of hacking is increasing.” A clear need, right? As a security company, you can address this in your proposal. However, we advise you to go beyond solving the customer’s problem of outdated software. Address the customer’s fear of being hacked. How is the security behaviour of their employees? They pose the most significant security risk. What is the security policy for personal devices? These are questions that add depth to the customer’s need, enabling you to provide a more comprehensive solution than just security software. The customer will appreciate this effort. By offering your solution in a modular fashion, you give the customer the choice of where to begin. you give the customer the choice of where to begin. Tackle everything at once or start with the software. Your chances of securing the order have significantly increased through your approach.

We conclude this blog with an important side note and last advise. We see many sample proposals in our assessment for Winning Proposal. More companies start to understand the importance of understanding the customer and start reflecting that in their proposals. They start with a text about the customer, often copied and pasted from the customer’s homepage. As if the customer would appreciate them opening their website to copy and paste their own text. That’s showing effort without breaking a sweat. Never do this!

The power of persuasion is the very core of Winning Proposal. It consists of four elements:

You might recognize the NOSE approach by Dr. Tom Sant of Hyde Park Partners in these elements. NOSE stands for Needs, Outcomes, Solutions, Evidence.


NOSE is a method for structuring your proposal systematically. In this blog, we will elaborate on this, as it forms the core of Winning Proposal. In addition to the NOSE model, Winning Proposal also incorporates the persuasion principles of Robert Cialdini, a former psychology and marketing professor and author of the book ‘The Psychology of Persuasion’. Cialdini provides valuable insights that Winning Proposal integrates into its structure and content.


What are the needs of the customer? What are their wishes, or what problem do they have that needs to be solved? It makes sense to focus on this in the sales phase, because if you best fulfil the customer’s needs, you secure the order. However, many sales conversations focus on telling the story of the customers product, their service, or the company Detailed with all its features, details and benefits. But is this what your customer is interested in? Wouldn’t it be more affective to just listen – truly listen – in the sales process to what the customer has to say? And hear what they truly want? Yes, a new car, but what kind of car? What does the customer value? What trips do they want to make? If you know this, you can adjust and personalize your offer accordingly. Customers appreciate it when their concerns are recognized. When one of our clients submitted a Winning Proposal for the first time, they got a call within an hour. They sealed the deal, mostly because the customer appreciated that they recognized their own needs in the proposal. Something competitors completely overlooked.


Customers have a diverse set of desires. It’s your job to identify the most important ones and use them in your sales conversations. Wishes that yield the most significant results, are most important. Significant results can take various forms. Think about a daily annoyance. A major result could be eliminating a daily annoyance the customer once to get rid of. But it could also represent a financial benefit, such as a saving that you can offer, resulting in a reduction of costs by X in the process. In the end, the customer will choose the proposal that delivers the most value to them and their company. Therefore, focus on those desires and outcomes. Because fulfilling a small wish that yields less result will also prove to be of less value in the decision making process of the customer.


The solution you offer to the customer is, of course, crucial. ften, this solution is detached from the rest of the proposal because the description of the product or service is pulled from an existing database. This is a missed opportunity. Clearly explain how your proposal fulfils the customer’s needs and how it will achieve the promised results. That way the customer can’t ignore that this is the solution they’ve been looking for. While a product description always comes from an existing database, try to make a difference by making connections and recommendations. Specifically detail how your solution meets the customer’s needs. It’s fine if you provide a general description of the product or service afterwards. There may be people in the Decision Making Unit who find that information important and helpful.


Customers want proof that you can deliver what you claim. Of course, it’s logical that the customer wants to know that. Even though you are confident in your abilities, keep in mind that the customer doesn’t know you well enough yet. They seek evidence that you can indeed fulfil your promises. You can provide them with this in various ways. The expertise of your team or the customer cases from other clients the customer could identify with are good examples. Because they are companies from the same sector or because they are similar cases. The proof they want could also lie in your company – do you have sufficient scale to handle the job? Do you possess certificates or endorsements that are relevant? Keep in mind that you need to deliver proof to the customer that aligns with their questions, so they can have faith in you and your business.

To create a Winning Proposal, you must answer the following questions: