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How to Close a Deal: A Tutorial on Solicited Proposals.

When it comes to running a business being able to make a deal will determine whether that business is successful. A solicited proposal is a useful tool for sales. Imagine Office Depot approaches a small paper company that you work for, and they want your company to supply their stores with paper. A deal like that could take the paper company to the next level. By submitting an impressive solicited proposal that outlines why the deal should be done, Office depot would have no other choice but to choose that company. Knowing how to make a solicited proposal is essential to making a deal. This tutorial will help guide you through the process of crafting a solicited report.

What is a solicited proposal? 

Unlike an unsolicited proposal, where a business sends a proposal to a prospective client, A solicited proposal requires action from the client. The client will generally send a request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ), or an invitation to bid (ITB), that outlines what needs to be done. In response, the business sends the solicited proposal to the client. The solicited proposal accomplishes many objectives. It demonstrates that the business, for one, understands the client’s needs. Also, it demonstrates that the business is capable and qualified to meet the criteria established by the client. Another purpose of the proposal is to call the client to action. A well-written proposal will promote the client to move to the next step whether it provides contract information or not. Proposals may also have a physical contract attached. A solicited proposal is necessary to demonstrate feasibility.

How to write a solicited proposal?

Format and Structure: People can format proposals in multiple ways, but in a business setting it is important to understand your audience. That being said, it would be best to keep the proposal formal and follow standard business practices. Another important factor would be the medium. For a short proposal, such as less than three pages, it is best to choose a letter format. If the proposal is more than three pages, it should follow the report format.

Purpose/ Intro: The proposal begins with a short introductory paragraph. This paragraph outlines the purpose of the proposal. Its’ main goal is to recognize the client’s needs and demonstrate the company’s qualifications to get the work done. Also, an effective intro will preview the structure and organization of the proposal.

Scope of Work: The scope of work section identifies the provided services. This section generally starts out with a brief one or two sentence introduction statement. Then it outlines steps and processes in bullet point form. Also, the company can include what they expect from the client in relation to accomplishing their objectives. The company may expect access to a location, supervision, parking, etc. Below is an example of a scope of work section in a proposal.

Time Schedule: Time is always an important constraint in any project. That is why it is important in a solicited proposal to identify how long a project could take. When crafting the proposal, use special consideration to determine a time frame compatible with the clients. The time frame must be realistic to increase the proposal’s credibility. A time frame that is too short could show that the proposal is not serious, or the work might be sub-par. Whereas a time frame that is too long could be ineffective for a client with a strict schedule. While this section can be brief, it is important to add as much relevant information as possible. Instead of saying the project will take 5 weeks, it could be split into different stages. These stages can consist of 2 weeks for design, 1 week for prep, as well as 2 weeks for installation for a total of 5 weeks. A well written time schedule will impact the entire proposal.

Budget: This section outlines the monetary aspects and costs associated with a project. Much like the schedule, the budget section is important to the proposal. It can also be brief but still needs all relevant information and data, and to explain all costs. For example, a budget section could derive costs, such as materials and labor. A successful budget section will allow the client to make a proper decision.

Qualifications: Credibility is the most essential asset when forming a proposal. The qualification section demonstrates why the company will be able to fulfill the client’s request. Formatting this section can vary, but it is important to start off with statement about what the company is. Then relate it to why that company can help the client with their specific task. Other useful information included in this section is how long the company was in business, the location, and testimonials about previous work.

Contract/Agreement: While this section may not be as informative as the previous, it must be persuasive to make it easier for the client to accept the proposal. The purpose of the agreement section is to prompt the client to respond; this can be done in two different ways. First, it can be contractual, meaning the ending of the proposal has a contract included or attached to it. This is effective because it allows a direct yes or no decision, which in the fast-paced world of sales can be effective. Another route is to provide the client with contact information to the company. This can give the company a chance to persuade the client. This section is important because it leads to the client’s decision.

How to evaluate you Proposal?

To be sure the proposal is effective, it is important to make sure it follows the guidelines. Below is checklist for evaluating the proposal.

In Conclusion: When following the steps provided in this tutorial, you will able to create an effective solicited proposal. Making a deal that could impact your business or employer is advantageous. Being able to  persuade a client to choose you and your company is an important skill. If there is one sure way to close a deal, it can be found in this proposal.


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Written by Jackson Nunning


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