I’ve been involved the judging of our local business excellence awards and have been struck, yet again, by the way poor skills in writing and presenting their case considerably reduce business’s chances of winning. Some wonderful businesses have entered with a good story to tell. But they don’t tell it well. And they make reading their entries difficult for the judges.
Surely they should raising the interest of the judges, getting them excited about the interview part of the process, bringing the WOW factor.
You might say, “we aren’t entering awards so this is of little interest to me.” But it should be.
Why, because the same skills needed to write a winning entry are those you need to write winning sales letters, quotations, proposals and tenders. They are the same skills you need to write content for your website, for your advertisements, for….
I wrote about some aspect of this in a blog post “Are your words repelling your customers?“ last year.
I’ve also talked about how “communication means customers”. Communicating regularly with your customers is very important to keep them coming back, but if you message is mangled, they going to turn off very quickly.
You need to write in a way that is easy to read and engaging if you want people to read it. And it needs to present well.
Another reason to pay close attention to what and how you write has to do with being able to attract customers and clients for whom price is not a determining factor in their purchasing.
Most people don’t invest much conscious thought into the words they use. They wing it. Many of the submissions I looked at did just that.
Visual presentation is important as is how will it read.
A good presentation will make you look so much more professional, and the reader feel more comfortable about dealing with you. If the way your industry does things is a simple “price, quality, delivery” quotation here is your chance to make yourself different, and stand out.
Here are more pointers about improving your presentation and making such documents easier to read.
Because you have to read on to get the answers (and if you notice, the end of the above point and start of this point demonstrates this).
You can also demonstrate this by using a word from the last sentence in the opening sentence of the new paragraph.
Complimentary – Free
Anticipate – Expect
Expectation – Hope
Authored – Wrote
Transportation – Car
Purchase – Buy
Ameliorate – Improve
Lifestyle – Life
Marketplace - Market
Instead of...Moving your money now will help you avoid major losses.
Try...You can avoid major losses IF you move your money now!
Just remember - as Dr. Johnson remarked over 200 years ago - "That which is written to please the writer rarely pleases the reader." You're not writing for yourself but for the prospect. Make it easy for them!
You can improve your quotation or tender by turning it into a sales tool to be used for your advantage, improving both your chances and your profitability.
Presentation and readability play a key role.
© Copyright 2013 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective
Some profit losses are pretty obvious - so you fix them.
BUT, what if you don't know profits are leaking, cash out the door?
Possible leaks could be anywhere.
Are there some clues or symptoms that are tell-tales?