PLANNING THE EXTERNAL PROPOSAL
To write an external proposal, you must your audience, research the situation, use visual aids, and follow the usual form for this type of document.
Consider the Audience
The audience for a proposal consist of potential customers. These customers know that they have a need, and they have it general idea of how to fill that need. Usually they will have expressed their problem to you in a written statement (an RFP), or in an interview. You must assess their technical awareness and write accordingly. ‘Generally a committee will make the decision of whether or not to accept your proposal. you must write so that they all understand your proposal. To write to them effectively you should.
- Address each need they have expressed .
- Explain in clear terms how your proposal fills their needs .
- Explain the relevance of technicai data.
For instance, if you wish to sell a computer system to a nonprofit arts organization, you cannot just drop code names for microprocessors – say an 8020 chip – and expect them 10 know what that means. You need to explain the data so that the people who make the decision to commit their money will feel comfortable.
Research the Situation
To write the proposal effectively you must clearly understand your customer’s needs as well as your own product Qr service. Your goal is to show how your product’s features will fill the customer’s needs. You must research their needs by means of interviewing them or by reading their printed material. Make “P you understand exactly what they want. . Writers devise different ways to develop their research on the client’s needs and the features their product offers. To relate needs and features, manay writers compile a two-column table. The following table shows how one firm decided how to fill the needs of a client
Once you establish the needs, you can easily point out a reasonable
method of fulfilling them. This research requires careful preparation.
Use Visual Aids
M.lIlY types of visual aids may be appropriate to your proposal. Tables
might summarize costs and technical features. Maps (or layouts) of the
<ituation, for instance, might show where you will install the work station
and the electrical lines in the office complex. Illustrations of the product
with callouts can point out special features. Your ~o<ll, remember, is to
convince the decision makers that your way is the best; good visuals arc
direct and dramatic, drawing your client into the document.