How does the design of your proposal make a difference in being accepted?
Having a proposal that looks good, clear, smart and professional increases your chances of being favoured.
First impressions matter. It’s human psychology. We form preferences and opinions intuitively, and then retrospectively justify them with reasoning. So, we’re prone to confirmation bias.
You’re more likely to notice things that reinforce your existing opinions.
You’d hope that there are processes in place to minimize those biases but having a proposal that’s smart and professional will maximize your chances of being favoured.
Similarly, if you’re looking at a lot of proposals of the same projects, you’re going to gravitate towards the ones that are the easiest to read and understand. The design plays a huge role in that.
If it looks like it has been put together in Microsoft Word very quickly by somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing, it won’t look very professional.
Why it’s important to look professional
You need to look like you are a competent and professional operation. When you have a professionally designed presentation, it shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile. That you want the opportunity. It makes it clear that this is something you’re investing in, upfront.
So, if you are a smaller team and you’re competing with a large organization that has an in-house design team. Your well designed and thought-out proposal makes you look like you’re in the same league, in terms of capacity and professionalism.
How a well-designed proposal saves time for both parties involved
A well-designed proposal is easier and faster to read and understand.
For the client, it’s much easier for them to get the hang of what you’re trying to
pitch and sell to them. For you, it’s easier to proofread and get a sense of a well-laid-out document, than a big wall of text.
Another classic problem with not having a professionally designed document, is if you finish the content within the document, and you’re happy and like the way that it all flows together. You’re doing a final read through, and then you decide to delete a sentence, or add any extra words, say on the first page, and then that shifts everything else down. Suddenly all your page breaks, and alignments are gone. You then must go through and sort the whole thing out taking more of your time.
If you have a well-designed document and template in the first place, you can avoid those problems. If you have more substantial changes that are going to go throughout the document, a professional design team is going to be by far the fastest way of sorting that out. When you’re doing the design, it goes without saying that somebody whose full-time job it is to design proposals can get it done faster than you, when your skills lie in other areas and your time will be better spent in your professional areas!
Will incorporating design into your proposal writing process help to get more clients?
Having a great design makes a difference.
In summary, inclusive of all the reasons we’ve discussed above, by having a proposal that is immaculately designed when it arrives on the desk of the decision-maker, they’re more likely to look at it, pick it up and read it. And when they do, they’re more likely to read the whole thing, pay attention and remember it. Remembering is the single most important aspect.
If you are not remembered, you cannot be chosen.