The Development Source
As Tom Searcy of Inc. points out in his recent articles, your job is to win the buyer’s attention and get the company’s business. This is true whether you are a salesperson or a Proposal Manager of a nonprofit organization.
Searcy recommends that you can get the customer’s attention and respect by providing insight and advice that is valued. Below are Searcy’s recommendations about what you should tell and not tell potential customers. Although he is discussing sales, his advice equally applies to grant proposals.
There are five things potential customers want to hear:
In a proposal, one of your major challenges is to turn a sales pitch into something more substantial. Provide good advice and show how you can make your customer more effective.
There also are four ways to bore potential customers by discussing things they do not want to hear too much:
In your grant proposals, take this approach. Ask a key question early on and use the proposal to answer it. Declare your benefits to the customer early and often. And focus on the outcome. Start with the end in mind. How will you help the customer? This should be the major focus of your proposal.
Grant proposals are sales documents. Focus your attention on the customer front and center – provide them with evidence, information, and a solution that shows you can help them achieve their mission more effectively. This will improve your proposals.
Your grant proposal should not be about your organization. It should be about offering a compelling solution to the customer’s problem.