How to Create Innovative Business Proposal Presentations - dummies

How to Create Innovative Business Proposal Presentations

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

A business proposal is a written document or a multimedia file (such as in Apple’s iBook app) you give with an innovative presentation to a prospective customer to obtain a sale for your products and/or services. It can be as simple as a one-page summary that briefly outlines what you will do, how much you will charge, and when you will complete the job.

Other proposals dealing with mergers, strategic alliances, and especially large-scale, long-term complex projects (such as huge engineering or massive construction projects) can be several hundred pages and contain diagrams, charts, illustrations, tables, drawings, and photos to describe and explain how your company intends to meet the extensive stringent technical, cost, operating, materials, and scheduling requirements of the project and all the partners who will work on it.

In many situations, a buyer sends out a request for proposal (RFP) to numerous vendors, and after evaluating the documents, selects two or three as the short list. These vendors are then asked to give an oral presentation (usually by two or more presenters) to explain why their offering is the best for the prospective customer. The goals are to develop a superb proposal, followed by giving the winning presentation.

The proposals shown in the following pages are typically designed for unsolicited situations or situations where you have the flexibility to design and write your proposal as you see fit as long as you adequately address all the detailed requirements the potential client asks for.

The photos of proposals you see on the following pages take time and money to make compared to traditional proposals.

If you don’t need to use all that creative firepower and can close a deal without it, do it. However, for those big or important situations where you want to super impress your prospective clients — at the expense of your competitors — then give them some innovative shock and awe to clinch the deal.

Several of the proposals on the following pages are cleverly symbolic and metaphoric. Rather than give you proposal designs (in these fictitious scenarios) to copy, let’s inspire you and demonstrate the broad and unlimited imaginative possibilities you have — if you leap outside your thinking box.

Use these quick tips for an effective proposal:

  • Make it relatively simple, easy, and interesting to read and view.

  • Have a compelling, concise one-to-two page executive summary.

  • Put all the focus on the client and her needs and requirements.

  • Make sure the project objectives are clear and detailed.

  • Describe and justify why your overall value proposition is the best. (A value proposition is the unique set of characteristics, features, and cost benefits your products, services, and company offers that differentiate it from your competitors.)

  • Highlight and repeat your most important ideas, solutions, and benefits.

  • Explain how your proposal is different and superior to all likely options.

  • Show how results are quantified and success is highly probable.

  • Describe how implementation will be relatively smooth, easy, and rewarding.

  • Justify how any risk-to-gain ratio is more than acceptable.

  • Describe the collaboration of all your team members and support groups.

  • Highlight the competent qualifications of your project personnel.

  • Include a detailed schedule of all activities.