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Adding value to your proposals without adding cost

You must add more value than your competitors to win

How much does it cost to do things the right way? What does doing things the right way mean when it comes to what you should offer in your proposal?
Doesn't doing things the right way prevent problems? Doesn't preventing problems reduce costs? Where is the line where the cost of doing things right becomes greater than the cost of the problems? Isn't that something worth discussing with your customer?

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Obviously preventing problems is best, but the customer usually expects there to be some problems and often cares a lot about what you do to resolve problems when they occur. What does it cost you to think that through in advance and present them with a rapid problem identification and response plan? Adding value often does not require doing anything different. It requires recognizing the value in the things that you do and being able to articulate it and differentiate it from your competition.

Sometimes doing things the right way means being well organized. Does being well organized cost money? Does it save money? If you have clever ways of doing things that add value while reducing costs, shouldn't you tell the customer in your proposal?
Sometimes doing things the right way just means knowing what you are doing. What does "knowing what you are doing" mean? How do you prove that you know what you are doing? How do you show that it adds value to the customer? All the things that go into “doing things the right way” are potential features for your proposal and each has benefits for the customer that you should articulate.

Often doing things the right way isn’t so much about what you do as it is how you do it. Doing more and adding effort might add to your proposed cost if there aren’t offsetting savings. But doing the same thing in a better way doesn’t have to add to the cost. Here are a half dozen examples:

  • Do it in a way that is more verifiable
  • Do things transparently
  • Do things in a way that is scalable
  • Be flexible
  • Do things that lower risk
  • Be responsive

Or anything else beneficial. Ultimately, adding value is more about why you do things than it is about what you do. When you make trade-off decisions and design your offering, you are doing things for a reason. Those reasons usually revolve around offering the maximum value for the lowest cost. You just need to prove to your customer that they are getting that.

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More information about "Carl Dickson"

Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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