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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Fletcher

Writing to Win - It's about them

Using empathy and a collaborative mindset to package your solution for the win.

You’ve developed this super widget, process, or service. You’ve built an experienced, motivated, and highly credentialed team. Your solution is refined with features that are aligned with your customer’s requirements. Your relevant and past performance proves your capability to perform the requirements, and your pricing is right, just right. How can they not pick you?

Easily. Of course, there are all sorts of factors that play into winning a contract. However, if you go on and on about your fabulous features and don’t put your customer first, the value of your solution is lost. Then, you’re just another company with all the right ingredients in mundane packaging.

Understanding your reader and making it easy to review your offering is the essence of effective proposal writing - writing to win - and a collaborative mindset elevates your proposal above the rest.

Writing to Win is a Mindset

Writing to win doesn’t come naturally. It is a mindset. We humans tend to be egocentric and require a conscious effort to climb into another’s shoes and understand their perspective. This understanding is required, if we are going to write effectively and convincingly and win.

At its heart, writing to win is persuasive writing. Effective persuasive writing is enhanced through empathy for our customers and the reviewer. Empathy opens the door for us to understand and share their feelings as reviewers and decision makers, seeing the world from their point of view.

Augment your win strategy development with discussions about how your solution dovetails with your customer’s goals. Take a walk around to the other side of the table and look at your solution or offering from your customer’s point of view. This helps them perceive of you as a collaborator, elevating your message and making it stand out from the crowd.

Approaching the work as a collaborator, to achieve your customer’s desired outcomes, shifts the focus from you to them.

How does your solution provide the best benefit and value to the customer?

To clarify how your solution creates the best value for them, ask yourself, if you were the one making the decision, what would be most important to you? Have they already told you what they are looking to accomplish, their challenges, pain points, or goals? What would make it easier for them to review your proposal and check off all the boxes?

Align each key feature with a tangible benefit to the customer. Spend some time with this, working to understand what the decision maker (reader/audience) is seeking. What is their ideal outcome and how do the features of your solution achieve/deliver that outcome?

Create a compelling case grounded in value to the customer

Take all of your features, your experience, and your stellar team, wrapping them up in a complete package of benefits that are genuinely valued by your customer. Substantiate your value to your customer by introducing each feature, naming the benefit first, followed by proof of your capability. This is the essence of writing to win.


Writing to Win Tip

You + Them = A Win for Them

Elevate your proposal from feature focused to value driven by dovetailing your solution with your customer’s goals and shifting your mindset from contractor to collaborator.

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