At some point, we get to experience writing letters to individuals, be it for personal and business purposes or even a combination of both. Even in the current digital age…continue reading
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What is a Proposal Letter
Proposal letters are a specific type of business letter which introduces ideas to another party. These letters are used in pitching outing or training ideas to the executives of the organization. It can also be used to showcase the services of your company and the skills of your employees to solve an existing problem in another corporation. Proposal letters are also as good as the actual proposal, especially when dealing with small-time and start-up businesses. Because these kinds of businesses do not expect to receive full-blown project and business proposals as they are still starting up their venture. And most importantly, these proposal letters need to have a persuasive tone to engage the executives and potential partners to read through all the details of the proposal.
Elements of a Proposal Letter
As a type of formal business letter, this proposal letter needs to have key elements that make it an effective business communication tool. Like a machine, it needs to contain all the cogs and gears to work together seamlessly. These elements make the proposal letter distinct from other business letters. Despite the brevity of this letter, it has several factors that are essential in engaging potential partners and clients to consider and eventually accept the proposal.
How to Write a Proposal Letter
Proposal letters are crucial in entering business relations with clients. It is an element in one of the early steps of submitting a full-blown proposal. After presenting the letter, if the client is interested, they read through the supplementary documents and the proposal itself. Like this logical process, writing a letter also requires key steps to make it an effective proposal letter.
Step 1: Formulate a Formal Introduction
Business letters are formal means of communication between a company to a client, partner, and stakeholders. A proposal letter serves the same purpose. In creating one, start the letter with your best foot forward by addressing the recipient properly by using the correct salutations. After that, make sure to introduce the parties that are part of the pending agreement or contract. Above anything else, be straightforward. Present the main purpose of the letter in the first paragraph of the letter. Indicate your understanding of the client’s troubles. If there are several topics that need discussion, you can use a bullet-point format to give emphasis on these topics and ideas. The executives and other readers will appreciate the brevity and directness of a proposal letter.
Step 2: Introduce the Proposed Solution
After a brief introduction and identification of the problem, the next paragraph of the letter should contain the proposed solution. This part of the letter is crucial because it is the main content and purpose, the proposal itself. If the letter serves as a cover letter for a full-blown proposal report, this part should only be a summary of the solution and its methods. Even if it is the main content of the letter, it should not be more than a paragraph. Make sure that you can explain the main idea of the proposal in fewer sentences. You can explain the reason behind coming up with the particular proposal and gloss over the necessary steps.
Step 3: List Down Benefits
To entice more clients to prefer your offer over the others, make reasons to make them choose you and prove it. List down all the things that the client can benefit from your potential partnership aside from the quality of your service. In construction biddings, aside from considering the cost of the proposed project, they also want a partner who can deliver on time and those that go above and beyond in delivering their service. As you draft your letter, think of all the best practices in your company that will also be highly beneficial for your client. Consider factors that will have a significant impact on work ethic and in your professional relationship with the client. But, make sure that you can live up and deliver all the benefits. Mishaps and failure to deliver can cost future business opportunities.
Step 4: End With a Compelling Conclusion
As you started the letter with the best foot forward, make sure to maintain it until the end to hook the reader and intrigue them to consider the full proposal and read through it as well. In closing your proposal letter, reiterate the importance of your proposal and its benefits, both short term and long term. Also, highlight the benefits the client can get when they grant and accept your proposal. And for proposal letters that aim to win the bidding, make sure to include a call to action in the last paragraph of the letter to prime the executives to make an immediate decision. Make sure that the closing statements effectively wrap up all the aforementioned ideas in the letter. It is also important to end the letter with proper salutations and regard. You can also include supporting documents such as budget plans, plan layouts, and the full proposal if it is already available.
Step 5: Follow up the Final Decision
Approval of proposals may take several business days. The client may promise a number of days before reaching out to give their final decision. If they are unable to deliver, it is proper to send in a follow-up letter about the decision. In this second letter, include a summary of the previous letter and add the request. Do not forget the proper salutations at the beginning and end of the letter. Following up the client regarding the proposal is beneficial to both parties. The client can see that your interest in working with them is genuine. On the flip side, the follow-up letter can be a reminder for the client if ever they forgot about it because there were other more pressing and urgent projects.
Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Proposal Letter
There are certain guidelines to follow and remember when writing a proposal letter. These guidelines serve as practical frameworks to ensure that the output is in its best version. Writing a letter may seem simple. But, it needs to follow a format and needs to include key ideas that are essential for the possible partnership that will be formed after the acceptance of the proposal.
1. Do aim for a one of a kind letter
When pitching an idea, make sure to draft a winning letter. One that is sure to capture the interest and intrigue the clients. One simple way of creating an outstanding proposal is to do away from standard materials, and tailor-fit the contents according to the needs of the client. In this simple way, the client can make sure that you understand their needs and you can easily accommodate them. A notable letter doesn’t need to have elaborate formats, it needs to have quality content that caters to the need of the client.
2. Do provide what is asked, not what you prefer
A proposal is a response to the needs of the client. Always keep in mind that the clients require your services and less likely your opinion on their internal matters. So, it is crucial to adhere to their demands and provide the best version of what they need. You can include some recommendations and modifications that are within the bounds of your professional style and methods, but you need to introduce and explain it to your clients.
3. Do use easy to understand terms
Since you are proposing an idea to a group of people who are not well-acquainted with your line of work, make sure to communicate effectively by using basic terms. Do away from using technical and difficult terms especially when it can be communicated using more familiar synonyms. If its use cannot be avoided, make sure to explain it properly and briefly. And remember to limit its use even if the letter relatively short. Using difficult words also creates a gap between the content and the reader.
1. Do not overlook formatting
In writing letters, people may have a misconception of weighing the difference between the content and the format. Both are equally important and pull equal weight in the decision-making process of the client. No matter how well-written the contents of the letter are, its format and appearance appeal to the readers to pick it up and make them want to read it completely. The format is the face of the letter, it leaves an impression to the reader. The alignments and the arrangement of the elements show if it was well-thought off and not made minutes before its submission.
2. Do not exaggerate your capabilities
An essential element in a proposal letter is the list of differentiating and beneficial factors that the clients can make the most of. This list is also an avenue to show off your qualifications. But, the catch is that you need to live up to all the things that were listed down. If you are not able to deliver, it can significantly affect the reputation of your company and block future business opportunities.
Proposals introduce ideas and plans that help bridge gaps and fix lapses within an organization. Drafting outstanding proposal letters is only part of the first step of many more steps until the project is fully realized, functional, and beneficial. But, starting from the letter, it should already pinpoint and zoom in on the main need, considering both the salient and unseen problems.