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How to Write a Sales Proposal

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Writing a sales proposal is a very important step in gaining a new client, or selling to a current one. This guide teaches you sales proposal techniques that will effectively demonstrate your firm’s capabilities

WHAT TO EXPECTWriting a sales proposal is a very important step in gaining a new client, or selling to a current one. There are some basic features to a winning sales proposal. In this Business Builder you will learn what those steps are and how to use them effectively.

The purpose of the Business Builder is to describe how to develop a proposal that gets the sale, wins the bid, is awarded the contract. This Business Builder will guide you through the necessary steps of developing a proposal that best promotes your firm’s capabilities.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING STARTED [top]

A good proposal is a big investment in time, but when done properly can mean additional business and, therefore, added revenues for your firm. You should consider writing a proposal when —

  • there is an identifiable chance that you will get the business. If it’s a long-shot, you may be wasting your time when it can be better spent on more likely prospects.
  • when the proposal can be used with other prospects, but personalized to represent their special needs.
  • when you must use a proposal to get onto authorized bidders lists.

A sales proposal has three basic objectives.

First, it educates the prospective client about the full nature of his need. Often, a prospective client may be aware of only a portion of his need. This may be a perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to see “the forest from the trees” as an objective third-party expert.

Second, the proposal convinces the prospect that you have the competence to deliver what he needs, better than he can himself.

Third, the proposal provides justification for the prospect’s investment in terms that are useful and understandable to the client.

However, to convince your client that you are the best person for the job, you must get him to read your proposal. So how do you get this busy executive to lay aside other pressing issues and pick up your proposal? The answer is to write a proposal that satisfies his needs, not one that sells your services. And to do that, you must have a full understanding of the nature, scope and needs of the prospect and present your ideas in a manner that convinces the prospect that your product or service represents the best way to handle his needs.

Keep in mind…You must convey the feeling that you are the expert to all who read the proposal.

The proposal must showcase your value to your prospect’s organization. You have to convince your prospect why he cannot fulfill his needs with resources internal to his organization.

You must differentiate your goods or services from the competition — if you can first show your prospect that he needs external resources to satisfy his needs, then you must convince him that you are the best choice for the job.

The proposal offers value-added solutions. Organizations are not interested in novelty approaches. They have problems that need solutions…quick! The winning proposal will outline how a client can solve his problems and achieve his objectives, as well as look good to the rest of the organization — especially his boss.

CREATING THE PROPOSAL [top]

Generally speaking, there is no standard length to a proposal. Depending upon the business you are in, a proposal may be a two-page letter or a ten-page document. It is important to know the protocol if there is any. Imagine how ridiculous it would be to submit a short letter when your competition has presented the client with a voluminous dissertation, not to mention the fact that you’d probably miss out on the chance of a good assignment. In some cases, a request for proposal (RFP) might be sent to potential suppliers/service providers by the prospective client to bid on a project or assignment.

Frequently, these RFPs set very clear guidelines regarding the desired content and length of the proposal. When this information is provided, follow it to the letter. Clients stipulate their requirements this way for a good reason — often because they anticipate reviewing several proposals at once. They want to be able to easily compare the submitted proposals. If they can’t find the desired information quickly, they won’t spend the time to look for it. Here, innovation will not be rewarded. However, in cases where the client’s requirements are unknown, the best advice is that the proposal should be as long as it needs to be to clearly describe the work you intend to do. Regardless of the length, though, there are some necessary steps you should take and some standard features that your proposal should include. You’ll find them in the succeeding sections.

As you read these next sections, you may find it helpful to refer to the sample proposal later in this document for further clarification and examples.

The Theme of Your Proposal

This is important particularly for organizations that receive several different proposals at a time. Stating the theme or the reason for the proposal helps to ensure that your proposal will be routed to the appropriate personnel. The theme should be one of the first things that your prospect sees. If your proposal is in a report format, a proposal title should appear on a cover page or as the headline to your proposal followed by a short description on how you intend to help the prospect. If your proposal is in letter form, make sure you spell out your theme in the first paragraph. Remember, your prospective client does not have nor will take the time to search for the reason for the proposal. Be clear and avoid cuteness. This is not a headline whose purpose is to entertain, but a description that clearly informs the prospect of the reason for the proposal. An appropriate theme might describe how your product (or service) will enable the client to solve his problem or achieve his goal.

For example, if you are a commercial cleaning service, your proposal theme might be, “Providing the greatest value in cleaning services to ABC Corp.”

If you are a marketing consulting firm, it may be, “Boosting XYZ’s bottom line utilizing a diversified marketing approach.”

Now, state the general theme of your proposal.

DEVELOPING THE BODY OF YOUR PROPOSAL [top]

Now, you are ready to create a rough outline of your proposal. Sales proposals typically include an introduction, definition of the project or need, a discussion of the approach, benefits of your product/service, and the cost associated with doing the work.

Are there any other highlights you want to include? Take some time now and rough out your outline.

Prepare an introduction which discusses the nature of your prospect’s need. In this section you should indicate how your proposal is organized and include a description of the prospect and his business. It will be to your advantage to keep the message warm and tailored to the prospect but at the same time convey that you have a thorough understanding of your prospect’s need. Your theme can be included in this introduction.

Do not use overly solicitous statements such as “We are truly grateful for the opportu nity to propose… ” These statements immediately impact the leverage that you have with the prospect — he becomes the superior, you the subordinate. Remember, this proposal must present you as the expert — one who your prospective client is fortunate enough to hire to satisfy his needs.

For Example, if you are a management consultant, your introduction may start:

“Over the past 20 years, Management Inc. has assisted over a hundred companies in improving their productivity. Like these companies, Trailer Courier Service is looking to streamline operations and eliminate wasteful functions. In the following proposal, we’ll discuss our approach to achieve higher productivity, identify benefits associated with these higher efficiencies, and — “

Draft your introduction now. Remember to include what your prospect does and how you have organized the rest of the proposal.

Discuss the current situation or your understanding of the client’s problem or need. This is really the problem identification section. Make sure you are very clear on what the needs of your client are. If you have doubts, make a phone call to verify. You can call your prospect directly or use a surrogate, maybe the contact that referred you to the potential project or assignment.

After a thorough description of the situation as perceived by the prospect, you may want to expand on the definition of the problem, if appropriate, adding your own concerns. This will not only confirm your understanding of the situation, but also convey your depth and insight into the opportunity at hand. You may want to present this as a next phase. This way it doesn’t unnecessarily add to the current situation (and resulting costs) but does provide the prospect with the potential for extra benefits. Identifying the problem or opportunity upfront lays the groundwork for the rest of the proposal.

For example, if you are a daycare center soliciting corporate accounts, your introduction may begin, “In the past decade a trend has evolved where more and more mothers are returning to the workforce. However, not much has changed to provide these mothers with reliable and affordable child care. When Mom can’t rely on suitable care for her child, your organization can’t rely on Mom…”

Identify the current opportunity or problem. Make sure you understand the situation clearly. Can you expand on the definition, demonstrating how you may add further value to the organization?

Next, introduce the objectives and scope of work that your prospect can expect. Describe what you will do and give an accurate time-frame for delivery or completion of key items. Be aggressive, but realistic. This is not the time to make promises on which you can’t deliver. Your prospect will be suspicious. He wants someone he can rely on, someone he can trust. This may be the first contact with this prospect, but your intent is to make him a long-term customer. And if you’re fortunate enough to land the assignment, you’ll gain the trust and respect of your client by under-promising and over-delivering.

For example, if you are a catering service, your objectives and scope would be, “To provide high quality foods and service at a reasonable price for the Jones wedding on September 18. Key tasks would include:

1. Planning the menu — June 6 2. Ordering the food and supplies — August 12 3. Arranging for flowers — September 1 (etc.)

Define your objectives and scope. Refer to your proposal’s theme to help you here. Next, list the basic steps of your approach.

Now it’s time to fill in the details of your approach. Make sure you provide enough detail so that the prospect can understand it clearly, but keep it broad enough so that it doesn’t inadvertently narrow his options or disclose your recommendations.

For example, if the prospect is looking to overhaul his accounting system, describe the process you’ll use in evaluating the best system, but don’t offer any preliminary suggestions at this time. You may not have the full details of his needs nor the luxury of talking to him one-on-one, and any suggestion of a possible solution could jeopardize your getting the assignment. He may have already investigated the option and discarded it for reasons unknown to you or, worse still, take the suggestion and do it himself.

Also, when you describe your approach, include the result, or deliverables, with each step. This is what your client gets upon completion of each step. The deliverable signals the end of one step and the beginning of the next. However, all steps do not need a deliverable, just the key ones. Providing deliverables is an effective method for gauging progress on a project. Deliverables provide evidence that work is being completed and is a valuable mechanism to use when managing large projects for both the customer and supplier. Deliverables can be either goods or services. For instance, if you are a consultant, you may provide a progress report, either orally or written, upon the conclusion of key steps in a project. On the other hand, if you are a building contractor building a home, an appropriate deliverable may be completion of a room or system (plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, etc.).

Think about your proposal. Take each of the basic steps and develop the details of your approach. Where appropriate, include deliverables.

Next, describe the benefits the prospect can expect from your products or services. This is a critical part of your sales proposal. This is not the time to withhold information — present any possible upside that your product/service can provide. Don’t stretch to the ridiculous, but do be sure you exhaust all the major benefits.

When creating your list of benefits, always keep in mind what you can do to make your prospect successful, how you can make him look good. Pay special attention to his role, responsibilities, and level in the organization when developing your list.

For example, if you are selling a manager on an upgraded telephone system, make sure you know what his key challenges are (maybe reliability and cost) and stress how your system overcomes them (high consumer confidence ratings, modular features, etc.). If, however, you don’t know who the decision-maker is, it’s best to tie the benefits of your product/service into the overall goals of the organization.

You may have to do a little research. If the company has an active advertising campaign, find magazines or trade journals that the company may be advertising in. What are their claims? Who are they targeting? If they are a public company, get a copy of their annual report. In it you’ll find the company’s key initiatives. Your library may have a copy of one, or you can call the company directly. A reference librarian can also help you with a search of magazines and newspapers for current articles written about the company. If you come up empty after that, virtually all organizations have goals for growth and profitability so tie your benefits into how your product/service can increase market share, increase sales, decrease costs, improve productivity, etc.

For example, if you are a new travel agency looking for commercial accounts, your proposals should be full of how you might save money for your clients — getting the best deals on air fare, hotels, rental cars; offering value-added services that your clients currently must do; suggesting scheduling alternatives that cut travel costs, etc.

Just remember, your proposal will have a better probability of success if you present it in a perspective familiar to the prospect, showing how your approach will enable him or the overall organization achieve his/their goals. When properly done, your benefits will implicitly justify why your goods or services should be used by the prospect. This may be stated as a final product or proposed outcome of the project. Use statements such as “Using our state-of-the-art manufacturing process…,” or “We will rely on our thirty-five years in the business to…” If you have several key benefits, then list them in a table with the most significant ones appearing at the beginning. This is a very effective method for conveying the extent of the value that you bring to the prospect.

A Word About Features and BenefitsPeople buy a product or service because they either need or want to. In order to create a need or a want, you must promote the benefits of using your product or service. Many business owners promote the features of their business and neglect to point out how the product or service will benefit the customer. Features enable the product or service to perform its function. Benefits are the results a person receives from using the product or service.

For example, a feature for a local printer may be 24 hour service. The benefit to the customer may be increased flexibility and faster turnaround. The customer is more interested in how you can help him (the benefits), not necessarily the details of your service (the features).

List the key benefits of your product or service. Next, write down what your prospect’s goals may be. Tie your benefits to your prospect’s goals. Now develop the benefit section of your proposal, making sure that you are writing it from your prospect’s perspective.

Now it’s time to present the cost for your product or services. Where you place this information in your proposal is extremely important. ABSOLUTELY do not include the cost at the beginning before you have had a chance to fully explain your approach and the resulting benefits. Any good fisherman knows the importance of the initial stages in luring a prize catch. Likewise, your prospect has to know what he is buying before he’s willing to spend his money. If you include the costs too early in the proposal, it may immediately put off your prospect and cause him to reject the proposal before he has a chance to understand its impact fully.

Your estimate of charges for goods or services should be as detailed as possible so there will be no misunderstanding when the goods or services are delivered. If you’re quoting on a large project, break the project up into stages, providing the details of these costs.

For example, if you are installing a new computer system, this section may begin:

1. Evaluate hardware options100 man-hours$10,000

2. Select and order hardware 1/3 cost upfront $60,000
3. Install hardware 1/3 hardware cost 200 man-hours $60,000 $20,000
4. Debug system 1/3 cost 100 man-hours $60,000 $10,000
5. Train 50 man-hours $5,000
TOTAL $225,000

 

Your prospect does not want to be surprised with hidden costs once he has accepted your proposal. Remember, you want to turn this prospect into a long-term customer. Disclose all potential costs even if you can’t quantify them upfront. There will be costs over which you have no control. Plan for them and let your prospect know what they are. Most likely, your client will have a limited budget that he is operating within.

For example, if your phone system installation requires a significant amount of travel (but you’re not quite sure how much or what the airlines will be doing at that time), you may want to quote for installation plus travel (i.e., $100,000 for installation plus reasonable travel expenses). Be assured this does not free you from properly managing those costs; it communicates, however, that there are additional costs that must be budgeted for. Keep in mind that surprises have a knack of eroding even the best of relationships.

Determine the costs for your proposal. Have you included all costs?

Finally, you’re at the end of your proposal. Here, you want to remind the prospect why you are the best choice for the job. This is a good time to do some of your own PR. Make sure you have a qualifications statement in which you say why you are qualified to do the job for the prospect. Include a corporate history, background of principals in your company and describe your facilities.

It might start something like this,

” As the largest cycle manufacturer in the US for the past 40 years, TRED has supplied over 10,000 leasing businesses with over 10 million bikes…”

A starting date or delivery date may also be helpful and could make the difference in getting the order or not. It is important to strike a balance here — if you can “start immediately”, the client may feel that you are not busy, and he may conjure up his own reasons of why that is. On the other hand, if you put a start/delivery date too far out, you run the risk of cooling off a hot prospect. The best advice is to use your best judgment along with the information you already know about your prospect. If they needed it yesterday, you’ll know what to do.

End your proposal with a closing paragraph which contains a statement of interest in doing the work for the prospective client. This paragraph can also be used to restate the benefits of doing business with your company.

For example, “All the employees at TRED are dedicated to the highest of quality standards in product and in service. Our free overnight delivery service means no spare part inventory for you…”

Close your proposal. Promote why your company is the best selection. Repeat the significant benefits that your prospect will receive.

Proposal Preparation Hints

If your proposal is in a report format, always include a cover letter. Your cover letter should summarize your objectives and highlight areas which you’d like your prospect to pay special attention. Keep your cover letter short and friendly, no more than one page long. Close the letter with a quick summary of why your company is qualified for the job. Then end with your proposed follow-up actions (i.e., I will contact you on DATE to answer any questions you may have.). The cover letter not only sets the tone for the rest of the proposal, but it also provides the prospect with a contact he can call for further information. You may want to refer to the cover letter in Section III as an example.

When possible use graphics or charts. Making the proposal look more like a report can aid the prospect in his reading and understanding of the information presented. Use friendly, uncluttered charts to aid the reader. One well-constructed chart is worth a thousand words. Make use of sidebars and descriptive headlines. Since your goal is to have it read, making it inviting is a definite plus. Review the language you have used and be sure your proposal contains a majority of active verbs as opposed to passive verbs.

For example, “our firm PRODUCES results”vs. 

“results are PRODUCED by our firm.”The proposal is a sample of your professional skills. This is what the prospect is going to see and quite often not in your presence. It is the most tangible item you are offering before you get the order or job, and it must demonstrate you r company’s professionalism. If your proposal is in a report format, bind it. You can do this yourself if you have the proper materials and equipment, or get your local printer to do it for you. If your proposal is a letter, type it on your stationery. In any case, make sure there are no typos. Typos are an indication of sloppiness and a disregard for details, neither of which a client wants to experience in a project. If you can, have a colleague read your proposal for content, typos, and proper grammar. The presentation of your proposal is the prospect’s best indicator of the kind of work you do.

Use a checklist for your proposal. Once your proposal is completed, subject it to the following to insure that you have included all of the key items:

  • Does your proposal address the underlying purpose of the prospect’s need?
  • Is there any danger that the prospect could misunderstand your approach to provide him with a solution? Have you clearly presented your approach?
  • Is the work you intend to perform covered in sufficient detail?
  • Have you expressed compelling enough reasons why you should be selected to supply the goods or services?
  • Is your proposal written from your prospect’s perspective? Do you use language with which he is familiar? Do you know his personal or his organization’s key objectives?
  • Are your fees or costs clearly stated? Do they follow a description of your approach and benefits?
  • Will the client understand what he or she is supposed to do upon reading the proposal?

Make adjustments in your copy accordingly. When this is completed, you are ready to send off your proposal. One option is to mail it. You may choose to send it via standard delivery or overnight it. Although an overnight courier service may be more expensive, the receiver takes special note when he receives such packages. That’s what you want.

If it’s possible, deliver your proposal to your prospect personally. This reinforces your interest in the project and provides an opportunity to meet your prospect if you haven’t already done so. Either way, once the final document is delivered and the prospect has had a sufficient time to review it, follow-up with a phone call or visit to ask if you can clarify any aspects of the proposal.

If you don’t hear from the prospect in a week to ten days, send him a letter reiterating your interest in his project. Be assertive, not a nuisance. If you’ve done everything you can think of within reason and still do not hear from the prospect, chalk it up to experience and get on with your business. Hopefully, you’ll be able to utilize parts of your proposal for another prospect. In most cases you’ll be notified by phone or mail whether your proposal was accepted or not. If it was not, try to find out why and learn from the feedback so that you can incorporate it into your next proposal.

Sample Sales Proposal [top]

A sample sales proposal follows. This short proposal demonstrates the key items usually present in a successful sales proposal. It is written by a marketing company to a prospective client with the objective to increase market share for that client, a small company in the retail fishing industry.

XYZ Fishing Tackle Company Sales ProposalTheme and Intro

The development of an effective sales proposal must have measurable objectives. The ultimate goal for ABC marketing company is to produce sales and profits via XYZ Fishing Tackle Company’s advertising investment. Four specific areas were given consideration, and they are:

  • Competitive pressures and advertising activities
  • The setting of attainable reach and frequency goals
  • Creative considerations
  • Budget

Current Situation

Fresh and saltwater fisherman are closely related and within the range of seven to 65+ years. However, the primary audience for advertising activity is the 25 to 54 year range and comprises 48.8% of the total market. This market includes both men and women with two-thirds of the participants in sport fishing being male. Most frequent fishing is done by those whose income levels are between $15,000 and $50,000 per year.

Geographically, the South and North Central regions of the country have the largest and most frequent fresh water sport fishing activity followed by the Western and Northeastern areas of the country.

Objectives

The objectives are to select the media which prove to be the most cost efficient and to design hard-hitting advertising to assure the message will reach the target audiences with sufficient frequency to provide memorability. Further objectives include selecting media which will synergistically support the creative strategy and create a media mix which will allow each medium to exercise its full potential to generate sales and deliver the sales message in a stimulating manner.

Approach

According to our experience and thorough research, we will evaluate radio as a primary medium. It is a semi-intrusive medium offering very distinct advantages, one of which is to sharply define a demographic target without excessive spillover. By carefully researching station formats and audience analysis figures, we can reach predetermined age and income levels of potential purchasers.

We will also evaluate print because this medium will strategically support radio and can offer the opportunity to effectively segment the market both demographically and psycho-graphically at reasonable costs. The use of magazines that focus on trade and consumer, and local newspapers will maximize the print effort.

Television, too, will be considered as it is a medium that works effectively at the highest level of intrusion and emotional stimulation. This medium has an enviable track record for launching new products and is universally used to introduce broad consumption products and services.

Deliverable

Weekly progress reports will be submitted to the individual appointed as our key contact, and a final presentation given to senior management at the conclusion of the project.

Benefits

A thorough analysis of your market and of the media to reach that market will help to properly allocate your promotional budget to get the fullest utilization of your marketing dollars. This planned marketing approach will synergistically result in the fullest coverage and deepest penetration possible with your current budget. Also, since we are one of the largest and oldest marketing firms specializing in the fishing industry, we have contracts with some of the popular magazines, radio and television stations. This enables us to negotiate the best media rates for our customers.

Costs

We are pleased to offer the following quotations for the necessary work to be done. The costs for running on radio and television will be supplied once frequency and choice of broadcast stations is finalized. The costs to produce a series of six radio spots, 60 seconds in length will be $30,000 which includes scripting, narration, talent fees, music rights, production and post production. These spots can be completed within six days of final script approval.

The costs to produce two full-color, full-page ads to run in Fisherman Today and Sports Fishing magazine, a combined circulation of over 2.8 million readers, will be $7,958.00 including photography, copy, layout, and finished film to be shipped to the publication. The time to complete the production of the print ads will be 4 weeks from approval of layout, copy and photography. The cost of running the ads in both publications, six times will be $93,448.00 which is commissionable at the rate of 15%.

We will produce a series of six 30 second spots for television. The cost will be $120,000 and will include concept, scripting, talent, narration, music rights, location sele ction, production, post-production, special effects and master tapes in acceptable formats to the television stations.

Production can be started within seven days after receiving a signed purchase order and a check for payment of one third of the costs for each item included.

Closing

We have been in the marketing and advertising industry for sixty-one years. We have been successful at promoting products for Sea Witch Power Boats, Bensons Buoys, Daiwa Fishing Reels and Strarkweather Fishing Rods in Australia. We know the industry as well as the market and are ready to help you get your market share.

We want to thank you for your consideration as well as your cooperation in assembling the information needed to do a thorough study of your company’s objectives and goals. If you have any questions, whatsoever, please feel free to call me at (555)555-1000.

 

CREATING A CONCEPT PAPER [top]

You may come across a situation where a full-blown proposal is not needed but a contact still must be made. It is in these situations that a concept paper can be used. Concept papers are an excellent marketing tool since they are relatively easy to prepare, inexpensive and well received by prospective clients. They lie somewhere between a full-blown proposal and an informal discussion yet with the same objective — to get the client’s business.

The concept paper should define what you see as the prospect’s problem and offer an approach which will provide an effective solution. If it is favorably received, it could lead to either an order or a request for a more formal proposal. This paper is usually between three and five pages in length, preceded by a one-page cover letter. It should convey that these are your initial thoughts after spending some time on the problem.

Like the proposal, the concept paper should show that you understand and have the expertise needed in handling the client’s problem. Unlike the proposal, the concept paper does not go into the full details for each of the key sections — concept papers utilize a significant amount of bulleted lists while proposals contain tables and lots of explanation text. But make no mistake. The concept paper is an end-product in itself and is not intended to be modified, reworked or revised.

There is an accepted five-part approach to concept papers.

  • The cover letter: This letter begins with a short paragraph confirming your interest in helping the client solve a specific problem. The second paragraph should allude to the concept paper that follows. It should state that the concept paper is a document created to stimulate discussion and a further examination of the problem areas as they relate to the client. The third paragraph thanks the client for expressing an interest in your company and for the opportunity to submit the concept paper. As a closing, you could say that you look forward to working with client. This helps to set the tone of teamwork and cooperation.
  • Statement of the problem: This section only needs to be two paragraphs long or about a half page of double-spaced typing. It should state the history or background of the problem as well as any present factors that add to the problem. This information can be derived largely from that which is supplied to you by the prospect or what you have observed on your own.
  • Objectives: The objectives section should be succinct and to the point. This would be a good place to use bullet-points to outline three to five meaningful objectives. These objectives should be what you believe to be important and should also reflect what has been expressed by the prospect.
  • Proposed methodology: This is a task-by-task description of your proposed solution to the problems stated earlier. This section could encompass two or three pages and should convey your approach in specific terms and in a chronological sequence.
  • Summary: This could be no more than a one paragraph wrap-up that states again the client’s problem, highlights your proposed solution and the key benefits to the client.

When prepared correctly, a concept paper can get you the business you are going after without the cost and intense work of preparing a full blown proposal. A sample concept paper for the XYZ Sports Fishing Tackle Company follows:

J. LIVINGSTONE SEGAL IIIDate

John Weldon xyz Fishing Tackle Company 123 Main Street Anytown, PA 000000

Dear Mr. Weldon:

As you know, we have been in the sports fishing and marine industry for over sixty years. The company was started by my grandfather in 1934 in Australia. He moved the business to the United States in 1948.

We know the industry, and we appreciate your problems and the need to garner more of a market share. The purpose of this paper is to provide an opportunity for us to examine closely our perception of your needs and present recommendations which can be easily implemented.

I would like to thank you for giving J. Livingstone Segal a forum to discuss what your needs are and to help you solve them. If you have any questions, whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

 

J. Livingstone Segal III

 

Statement of the Problem

Over the past ten years, XYZ Fishing Tackle Company has felt increased pressures and loss of market share from foreign competition and the advent of nationwide super-stores entering the fishing tackle industries. Another problem which has emerged is the diminishing recognition of XYZ as a premier company which produces all of its products in the U.S.A.

There has been a lapse of effective marketing and advertising strategies which further exacerbates the problems. Many dollars have been wasted on Direct Response advertising often not being targeted to the proper audience.

    The objectives, therefore, would be to:
  • Develop the perception within the US fishing tackle industry that XYZ is the premium manufacturer of fishing reels, rods and tackle.
  • Utilize the media to support the efforts of the XYZ sales effort.
  • Support sales at the retail level by effective point-of-sale materials.
  • Generate special promotions for peak sales periods: Christmas, Father’s Day, Valentine’s day, birthdays, graduation, special personal achievements as well as pre-season promotions. (etc.)

Proposed Methodology

  • Develop effective advertising and marketing strategies to overcome the loss in market share.
  • Produce creative hard-hitting and highly recognizable advertisements to be used in print, television and radio advertising.
  • Determine which publications and broadcast media would best achieve necessary results. (etc.)

We feel that an organized and thorough approach as outlined in this concept paper would enable your company to achieve an increase in market share as well as a return to national and international recognition. J. Livingstone Segal, Inc. is ready to serve you.

RESOURCES [top]

Books

Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win Customers, Clients, and Contracts by Tom Sant. (AMACOM, 1992).

Winning Proposals: Writing to Get Results, 2nd ed. by H.Y. Tammemagi. (Self-Counsel, 1999).

Consultant’s Guide to Proposal Writing: How to Satisfy Your Clients and Double Your Income, 3rd ed. by Herman Holtz. (Wiley, 1998).

Professional Trade Associations

American Management Association

American Marketing Association

Other Sources

Local offices of the U. S. Small Business Association (SBA)

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

About the writer — Felice Philip Verrecchia is an award-winning freelance writer/producer/director living in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. In addition to a busy writing schedule, he is completing the requirements for a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology.

All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.

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Digital Library > Defining and Serving a Market > Advertising, general “Something to Be Said for Redheads” Quick, now. What color dominates the product packaging of big-name consumer goods marketers? Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Oscar Mayer and Betty Crocker all rely on red, red and more red to tempt customers at the point of purchase. In the food arena, at least, red

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