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Chapter 11. Client-focused proposals > Identifying client needs

Identifying client needs

There are two actions you can take to help you identify the client’s needs:

  • Study guidelines offered by the client. This action can be taken only if you are writing a solicited proposal. RFPs, in particular, are quite specific about items that must be addressed by the company submitting the proposal. Studying these guidelines will help you identify client’s needs and give you a strong starting point for developing possible solutions.

  • Study the client’s situation. The best proposals are those in which the writer studies the client’s situation independently from any guidelines offered by the client. It is likely that the client has not considered every factor that will influence how their problem is addressed. Therefore, a superior proposal will identify these additional factors and incorporate them into the solution.

    Studying the client’s situation is also necessary if you know little about the client. For example, if you are writing a proposal for a new client, you need to learn as much as possible about their organization. Doing so will help you understand what information is most important to them, how much technical knowledge they possess, and who are the main decision makers in the organization.


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