Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win Customers, Clients, and Contracts

Overview

If you're involved in any kind of sales to other businesses or organizations, an entrepreneurial activity, or funded research, chances are that you find yourself writing proposals. Why? Because, these days, few business agreements, research grants, or government contracts are even considered without "putting it in writing" first. And you don't just want to be considered. You want to win. Persuasive Business Proposals provides a step-by-step process to help you organize, write, and deliver successful client ...
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Overview

If you're involved in any kind of sales to other businesses or organizations, an entrepreneurial activity, or funded research, chances are that you find yourself writing proposals. Why? Because, these days, few business agreements, research grants, or government contracts are even considered without "putting it in writing" first. And you don't just want to be considered. You want to win. Persuasive Business Proposals provides a step-by-step process to help you organize, write, and deliver successful client proposals easily and inexpensively. Tom Sant's simple method will enable you to win contracts, sell projects, gain approval for new ideas, and build better relationships with the clients you already have. You'll learn how to use persuasion to great effect; organize your material and develop the proposal strategy; ensure every proposal is client-centered; create letter, formal, research, and grant proposals; and use automation to save time. Persuasive Business Proposals explains how to target key decisionmakers with language that is clear, effective, and credible. The book provides special writing suggestions, emphasizing word choice and sentence structure. You'll find numerous case studies and sample proposals from the author's work as a corporate writing consultant, which illustrate his advice and techniques. You'll even find a "proposal writer's checklist" to use to ensure that your proposal leaves nothing out. No business asset is more valuable than the ability to present your ideas clearly, effectively, and persuasively. "A good proposal can be both useful to you and to your potential client," says the author. "How useful it is depends on how carefully it's been designed, developed, and written. If you write a good proposal, you may win more than just a specific contract. You may win good will, respect, and credibility that will carry over into future business relations."
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Editorial Reviews

Barbara Jacobs
The clutch factor--the panic of executives when faced with a proposal to be written--is far more prevalent than most people may realize. Sant combines the fundamentals of marketing and writing in an easy, breezy guide intended to take the fear out of putting pen to paper. He emphasizes a client-centered approach, based on Cicero's statement, "If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words." The book's four sections adequately reinforce his message; throughout, samples of what "not" to emulate are also proffered. Strunk and White the book's not, but adopting its viewpoint could nonetheless prove helpful.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814451007
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 11/26/1992
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2001

    Well written in persuasive style

    Tom Sant has put together one of the single best books on proposal writing. Whether you are responding to a bid request or just designing a basic proposal the book is filled with tips for getting the winning contract. Everything is covered here. There are examples of bad proposals and details of what is wrong with them, examples of how to make your proposal stand out from the others and even a primer on the basics of persuasion. It is well organized and flows well from the beginning to the end of the process not only defining what should be done but why you are doing it. This knowledge gives you the ability to adapt to unusual situations instead of just using a boilerplate method for all your contracts. It even comes with a small but thorough checklist in the appendix to make sure that you have left no stone unturned in creating the proposal. There is however, one point that I would like to have seen added to the book. At the last of the book he emphasizes the importance of editing your proposal. When you are done then read it again as a whole to see that it contains continuity, check it for spelling errors, check it for grammar errors, etc. Read it from front to back two or three times to make sure that you catch everything so that you don¿t lose credibility with your audience. While I agree totally, on long proposals I also start from the back section and read the sections from back to front. Why? As you are rereading for editing your attention to detail tends to decrease and you become more careless after a certain point. Starting from the back sections gives you a chance to read those sections while still fresh. Does it work? Well let¿s take a look at his book itself. No errors jump out at me until page 178 where the word ¿about¿ is spelled ¿abut¿. Well if that is the only problem then he has still done well. Then I got to page 186 where he has an example of a badly worded item. After showing the better wording the book states ¿That¿s a little better, isn¿t it? A little easier to understand the first time through?¿ Obviously he meant to say that it is ¿easier to understand THAN the first time through¿. And then a third error on page 188 where he is discussing the importance of using ¿complement¿ and ¿compliment¿ correctly. But during the discourse he actually spells ¿complement¿ as ¿conplement¿. A perfect discourse that suddenly has three errors within ten pages. This is still a fantastic book on the details of how to write a proposal, things to do, things to avoid, how to persuade, how to focus the proposal or contract, etc. It belongs on the shelf of anyone who writes proposals and contracts or any form of communication, which involves convincing other people to see your position. I even successfully used the information in the book to detail the current status and proposed direction of a mishandled project and was able to win the client back and keep the contract.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2001

    This book can really help!

    Tom Sant's book helped me write better, more client-centered proposals. As a result, I started winning more business. The book is easy to read, with great examples and descriptions that are easy to implement. Sant also has software for automating proposals and RFPs that follow along with the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2001

    This Book helps you WIN!

    Tom Sant's structure and approach to proposal writing and responding to RFP's has already helped me win more business. BY following his methodology, my proposals are far more persuasive and client-centered. It is a quick read, and gives you more than enough examples and some humor. If you write proposals, this is the book you need. Sant also has award winning software that follows the structure of the book and helps automate the proposal and RFP response process.

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