Love makes blind
Love makes blind. An important conclusion right at the beginning. What applies to every proposal, certainly applies to proposals to corporate organisations. So think carefully about whether you want it at all, be realistic about the yield, ask yourself what you are willing to pay for it or what concessions you are willing to make. Love is blind, so the danger lurks to do everything possible to win the customer or assignment. Examine how serious the organization is. Take an innovation project, for example. A partnership with a small party rarely leads to permanent assignments or orders. It is therefore possible that a corporate is busy analyzing a new approach (to which your ideas, products or services could contribute) but which will never see the light of day. In other words, think carefully before you get in. Once 'in love', you no longer see how demanding the other person is. Chances are that you will lose sight of yourself and your initial vision and ambitions. How do you approach it wisely and how do you translate that into a good proposal?
Communication is key
A collaboration between a corporate and small entrepreneurs or startup is successful in particular by communicating clearly from the start. Make conversation reports, in which you record expectations and agreements. These types of reports strengthen mutual trust and are also very useful when you start working on your proposal.
Points of attention in your proposal
I'm not going to "wear" you here with appropriate design. I have written about this before and with Offorte's online tool, a suitable design is the least of your worries.
The most important points of attention can be found below:
- Corporate organizations think in terms of certainties. Therefore, pay attention to any risks and indicate how they remain manageable. Perhaps you can reinforce your pitch/plea by referring to previous track records and/or GDPR information in the appendices.
- Learn from the events of the past 2-3 years (scarcity and prices due to corona and the war in Ukraine). Either way, you want to remain agile. Therefore, be transparent about your commitment; do you deploy all or part of the resources? And what consequences (for example in terms of lead time) does this have for the customer?
- Provide concrete deadlines, undisputable prices and clear agreements. Make your proposal SMART: Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time-bound. You don't necessarily have to keep the order of the letters, but it is important that all aspects are included in your proposal. Give your (SMART) proposal extra power by adding customer cases, statistics and other evidence.
- Send your general terms and conditions and refer to them in the proposal. Regularly check whether your terms and conditions are still up to date and certainly before you send them with your proposal to a corporate organisation.
Make sure that your proposal is received on time and meets all requirements set by the customer.