Effective Proposals

onepage_proposal.jpg Persuasion through the written word is a powerful skill set. Patrick Riley’s book The One-Page Proposal is a great tool for your library to be effective in today’s fast-moving, information surplus age. He has testified to how he presents to recipients of his ideas through a one-page proposal after learning the secrets from one of the wealthiest men in the world. It is a process worth mastering that you might use it repeatedly from generating proposals internally at your company to getting movement on an idea with a committee or selling a prospect.

The keys to the one-page proposal are:

  • Read from the reader’s perspective. Would you buy?
  • The format is sacrosanct. Don’t deviate.
  • Keep it on one page. No more.

The sections for a one page proposal are:

1. Title (All Caps, enlarged type)
2. Subtitle (Both caps and lowercase, italicised)
3. Target (Caps and Underlined w/ colon, All caps)
4. Secondary Targets (bulletized)
5. Rationale
6. Financial (Caps and Underlined w/ colon)
7. Status (Caps and Underlined w/ colon)
8. Action (Caps and Underlined w/ colon)

Furthermore, after preparing it, you should:

  • Always have an introductory conversation via phone or in-person first.
  • Best results are to have a face-to-face meeitng to orally review the proposition
  • Use black ink and a good laser printer. Have a crisp, professional looking document to make the right impression.
  • Use white, cotton-fiber 24-lb minimum paper of good quality 8.5×11. Mail in 9×12 envelopes if needed, unfolded.
  • Put your heart into it. The format lends itself to readability by the reader. Ask yourself, would be you be compelled to move forward with the action?

Some good tips to help drive effectiveness as a free agent. Another note:

Don’t answer the question over the phone fully on what the meeting is about. Simply read your target sentence and tell the person you have prepared a one-page proposal covering all the issues and you will send a copy over before the meeting. The meeting is to discuss the proposal. Send a note confirming the appointment and affirming your interest in meeting with the person.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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