Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Category: Management

How to Handle a Mess Up?

Don’t Get Mad. Some Understanding Will Likely Get You a Better Outcome

Mike Dunn

Once upon a time in the 1980s…
A colleague and I travelled to California and the arrangements were made by an ‘almost captive’ travel agency located just off of the lobby of our corporate headquarters. We picked up our travel packets [2 plane tickets, 2 hotel reservations, and one rent car] from the agency and headed for the airport. On the flight, we looked at our reservations and found that we were booked at separate hotels that were a considerable distance apart. Needless to say, upon arrival there was an extensive phone conversation that involved some raised voices and tears. In the end, we stayed at the same hotel [the non-optimum one that was a fair distance from the vendor.

A few days later on the return flight, I began to think about how I would handle the situation with the travel agent. I decided that she made an honest mistake and I was a bit hard on her. When we returned, I went to the agency and asked to speak to her and then introduced myself [we did not know each other by name]. As soon as she blurted out the first sentence of her apology, I cut her off. I told her that I realized what a difficult job that she had, apologized to her, and then delivered a single rose from behind my back. From that time on, I had a personal travel agent who double checked her work and delivered prompt, ‘platinum’ service.

 

Mike Dunn is a Project Management Information Network Contributor (LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103). Resourceful Critical Thinker —- Problem Solver Extraordinaire – Houston, Texas Area. Computer Software

How to Handle It When You Mess Up on the Project (and You Will)

By Mike Dunn

Guiding Principle: Always do the right thing based on an objective analysis of the facts – sans emotions.
Intent: If possible, determine if the screw-up was intentional or accidental.

People: Screw-ups are performed by people who are individuals. Individuals are unique – it is sometimes best to handle the same screw-up differently with different people.

Attitude: Think about it, the normal tendency to express indignation is usually not the best approach. Threats may be appropriate for some scenarios, but should usually be administered in a ‘low key’ manner.

Calibration: Carefully assess where the incident falls on the “How much does it really matter scale”.

Situational Analysis: Carefully consider timing and potential side effects. I am amused when a person in a restaurant throws a fit and belittles the waiter over an incorrect order. From what I know about the food and beverage business, I would not eat whatever the waiter brought back to fix the order.

Focus on the objective: Are you looking for only a short term solution or do you need a long and short term solution??

The above apply to both sides of a screw-up – when you [or your people] are the one who screwed up –

1. Immediately assess and understand the screw-up and the ramifications.

2. If possible, immediately come up with a recovery plan. Otherwise, get some folks working on it.

3. Immediately confess your sins without excuse. Ensure that you have covered #1 – an inaccurate confession could come across as an attempt at deception or that you do not know ‘what is going on’.

4. WRT #3, make sure that you go to the correct person first.

Mike Dunn is a Project Management Information Network Contributor (LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103). Resourceful Critical Thinker —- Problem Solver Extraordinaire – Houston, Texas Area. Computer Software

Increasing Training Effectiveness

Dr. Brian Monger

Establishing an open and encouraging internal climate to increase training effectiveness

Normally, people returning from a course are left almost alone.

The supervisor is not very interested in what they have learned and how to make use of new ideas and factual knowledge.  The employees are, at best, left alone to implement new ideas.  Even more frequently, the returning employees realise that everybody, especially the boss, is totally uninterested in what they have learned.  Sometimes they get the impression that the fact that they have been away for training has only created problems, for example, with under-capacity.  Nobody seems to care about any positive effects of the course.

In such situations, any new idea and favourable-attitude effects are rapidly destroyed.

Instead, the manager or supervisor should encourage the employees to implement new ideas and help them realising how they could be applied in their specific environment.  Moreover, some on-the-premises training is often helpful and encouraging as a continuation of the course or training program.

The management style demonstrated in the daily job by managers and supervisors has an immediate impact on the job environment and internal climate.  Probably, recognition is the issue that keeps it going.  It may sound soft, but it is critical. The mere way of managing is, therefore, an internal marketing issue.

Joint planning and decision making with the employees involved is a means of achieving commitment in advance to further actions that emerge from the planning process.

The need for information and feedback 

Here, the supervisor has a key role.  Moreover, he or she is responsible for creating an open climate where service-related and customer-related issues are raised and discussed.

Management support and the internal interactive communication are the predominant tools of the attitude management aspect of internal marketing, but they are, of course, key ingredients of communication management as well.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is a specialist in negotiation and behaviour He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

He is very well known and highly regarded as a Linked In groups manager

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on https://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

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Come on over and share more great information and ideas.

The Eight Ancient Asian Elements of Success

Dr. Brian Monger

Lear the ancient wisdom of success from China

The ancient eight essential elements of success are:

  • Tao: Moral standing, ethics, righteousness. The product and the company culture need to be in line with Tao, righteousness. Without Tao, a short-term profit is attainable, but long-term success is not possible.
  • Tien: Timing of your products and your marketing strategy needs to be in line with the social timing and the universal timing.
  • Di: Utilize your company’s assets and liabilities, as well as, each individual understands their everyday work and quality of life.
  • Jian: Leaders relate to their staff, customers and suppliers according to five qualities: wisdom, trustworthiness, benevolence, courage and discipline.
  • Fa: Effective executive’s actions will result in keeping the revenue coming in rapidly.
  • Xu, Shi: Paradox of the real versus the unreal.
  • Qi, Zheng: Innovation and tradition.
  • Know thyself, Know others:  know yourself, your product, and your customers.

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

The Need to Better Understand Management Planning

Dr. Brian Monger

The degree to which a company is able to cope with its operating environment is very much a function of the understanding it has of the management planning process as a means of sharpening the rationality and focus of all levels of management throughout the organisa­tion.

This requires further explanation.  What most companies think of as planning systems are little more than forecasting and budgeting systems.  These give impetus and direction to tackling the current operational problems of the business, but tend merely to project the current business unchanged into the future – something often referred to in management literature as ‘tunnel vision’.

The problem with this approach is that because companies are dynamically evolving systems within a dynamically evolving business environment, some means of evaluation of the way in which the two interact has to be found in order that there should be a better matching between them. Otherwise, because of a general unpreparedness, a company will suffer in­creased pressures in the short term, in trying to react and to cope with environmental factors.

Many companies, having gone through various forms of rationalisation or efficiency- increasing measures, become aware of the opportunities for making profit which have been lost to them because of their unpreparedness, but are confused about how to make better use of their limited resources.  This problem increases in importance in relation to the size and diversity of companies.

In other words, there is widespread awareness of lost market opportunities through unpre­paredness and real confusion over what to do about it.  It is hard not to conclude, therefore, that there is a strong relationship between these two problems and the systems most widely in use at present, ie. sales forecasting and budgeting systems.

The most frequently mentioned operating problems resulting from a reliance on traditional sales forecasting and budgeting procedures in the absence of a management plan­ning system.

1.         Lost opportunities for profit

 2.         Meaningless numbers in long-range plans

 3.         Unrealistic objectives

 4.         Lack of actionable market information

 5.         Inter functional strife

 6.         Management frustration

 7.         Proliferation of products and markets

 8.         Wasted promotional expenditure

 9.         Pricing confusion

 10.       Growing vulnerability to environmental change

 11.       Loss of control over the business

The connection

It is not difficult to see the connection between all of these problems.  However, what is perhaps not apparent from the list is that each of these operational difficulties is in fact a symptom of a much larger problem which emanates from the way in which the objectives of a firm are set.

The meaningfulness, hence the eventual effectiveness, of any objective, is heavily dependent on the quality of the informational inputs about the business environment.

Objec­tives need to be realistic 

However, objec­tives also need to be realistic, and to be realistic, they have to be closely related to the firm’s particular capabilities in the form of its assets, competences and reputation that have evolved over a number of years.

The objective-setting process of a business, then, is central to its effectiveness.

Tt is inadequacies in the objective-setting process which lie at the heart of many of the problems of companies.  Since companies are based on the existence of markets, and since a company’s sole means of making profit is to find and maintain profitable markets, then clearly setting objectives in respect of these markets is a key business function.

If the process by which this key function is performed is inadequate in relation to the differing organisational settings in which it takes place, it fol­lows that operational efficiency will be adversely affected.

Some kind of appropriate system has to be used to enable meaningful and realistic management objectives to be set.  A frequent complaint is the preoccupation with short-term thinking and an almost total lack of what has been referred to as ‘strategic thinking’.  Another com­plaint is that plans consist largely of numbers, which are difficult to evaluate in any meaning­ful way, since they do not highlight and quantify opportunities, emphasise key issues, show the company’s position clearly in its markets, or delineate the means of achieving the sales forecasts.  Indeed, very often the actual numbers that are written down bear little relation­ship to any of these things.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Formal and Informal Leaders

Dr Brian Monger

The formal leader is the supervisor appointed by the organisation to lead a specified group in the attainment of the organisation’s objectives.  The organisation gives the supervisor the necessary authority to carry out these objectives.  An informal leader, on the other hand, is “appointed” by the work group itself, usually because of their referent and expert power, their personal qualities and job knowledge.

A very effective supervisor may be both the formal and informal leader of the group.  However, work groups often have two leaders: the informal and the formal.  This does not necessarily mean that the supervisor is not supervising properly; it may mean that the informal leader is meeting certain team and individual needs that the formal leader cannot or should not be meeting.

The informal leader may or may not support the supervisor; whichever is the case, informal leaders usually have as much (and often more) influence on a group’s output as the formal leader.  So don’t try to eliminate any informal leaders in your work group, but rather ensure that they are working with and not against you, for the benefit of your work group and the organisation.

The informal leader is likely to be the person to whom others often go for advice, assistance or just a chat.  It is the person who speaks for the group, the person who is able to get the ball rolling”.  An informal leader may emerge because of a booming voice or an ability to make others laugh, or because of seniority.  If your work group concentrates on getting its work done, for example, producing 400 units an hour, the informal leader may be the person who can produce the most or generate the most enthusiasm for attaining results.  On the other hand, if your work group needs to have tension relieved because of the stressful nature of the job, the informal leader may well be the person who can do this.

A work group may have both of these objectives (400 units an hour and relief of tension); in this case, two informal leaders may emerge if one person is not available who can meet group needs in both areas.

Whoever the informal leaders are in your work group, their positions are precarious ones.  Being an informal leader today and a non-leader tomorrow is not unusual.  This is particularly true where the composition of the work group changes frequently or where the work location, product or task changes.  As a group’s needs change, so does its choice of informal leader.

Authority and Responsibility

Authority is the right to command or act and relates to the power you have over resources.  If you have authority, you can require a person to do something that you want done.  Every supervisor is conferred some formal authority by the organisation.

Responsibility, on the other hand, is the obligation that employees have to their managers and the organisation to do a job or task that has been assigned to them.  The key idea here is one of obligation or duty.  You are hired to do a certain job; therefore, you have an obligation or responsibility to do that job.

It wouldn’t be fair to hold people responsible for doing a job without first giving them the necessary authority to do the job.  Thus, although authority and responsibility are different, they should go together.  This means that when you have been delegated authority, it should be accompanied by sufficient responsibility.

What Type of Leader do Employees Look for?

No two people are exactly alike and therefore no one  type  of  leader  can  be singled out as the ideal for  which  everyone  is  looking.  One  person  looks for guidance and encouragement, while another prefers to be left alone to get on with the job.

Despite individual differences, surveys show that there are some specific behaviours that most employees look for in a leader.  Most, for example, want a leader who lets them know clearly what is expected of them and how they are getting on.  They want to be sincerely patted on the back when they deserve it.  They want training, and guidance when they are having difficulty in achieving their objectives.  They want to work for a leader who is approachable and keeps them informed about what is going on.

Employees prefer leaders who let them know honestly where they stand and what their chances of advancement are.  They want a leader who gives them a sense of importance, who makes them feel that they are valued members of the team and that they are doing a worthwhile job.  They want a leader who has ordered work habits (someone who plans the work and works to the plan), who has well-defined objectives and who organises resources efficiently.

People want supervisors who promote teamwork by emphasising the positive rather than the negative aspects of their performance and who provide opportunities to get their ideas heard.  Employees like to work for supervisors who are fair and impartial in their dealings, and who set a good example.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Good Leadership Increases Productivity and Results

Dr. Brian Monger

Employees are an organisation’s major cost and second greatest asset (after customers).  For this reason, people who can lead others are valuable to any organisation.  Good leadership is worth more than modern machinery or new buildings.

What is leadership?

Leadership is an elusive quality that inspires others to perform.  It is a quality that enables a supervisor to influence others to accept directions willingly.  Leaders seem to have a special knack of getting others to follow them and do what they want done because the followers want to do it.  Leaders get things done through people.  Leaders, then, are people who can influence the behaviour of others for the purpose of achieving a goal.

There are three main schools of thought on leadership.  They are called the trait, behavioural and situational approaches.

The Trait Approach

This theory says we can learn what makes a person a leader by studying the physical, intellectual and personality characteristics of leaders and com­paring and contrasting them with the traits of their followers.  If certain qualities can be found among all or most leaders, all we will have to do is find people with these qualities and make them leaders (or so the thinking goes).

Some studies have indicated that, on the whole, successful leaders are often taller, brighter, better adjusted and have more accurate social perceptions than non-leaders or poor leaders.  They often display self confidence, a desire to influence others, abundant energy and high levels of job knowledge.

However, these traits do not hold true in all or even the majority of cases and this approach has, on the whole, been disappointing.  Only 5 per cent of the traits that successful leaders had in common in over 100 studies appeared in four or more of these studies.

The three most commonly found traits are intelligence, initiative and self assuranceAccording to a number of studies, intelligence should be above average but not of genius level, and should include particularly good skills in solving complex and abstract problems.  Initiative involves independence and inventiveness and the capacity to see what needs to be done and a desire to do it, while self-assurance has to do with self-confidence and setting high personal goals.

But possession of all the leadership traits identified by research is an impossible ideal.  Furthermore, there are too many exceptions: people who do not possess the “necessary leadership traits” but who are nevertheless successful leaders.  The trait approach is generally considered an oversimplification of a very complex subject.  Most people are not “born” leaders.

Transformational Leadership

A modern variation of the trait approach is called transformational leadershipCurrent research in Australia and overseas is indicating that a very different type of leadership, especially at senior levels, is required to lead organisations through these times of rapid change.

Today, we need transformational leaders who can develop a vision for their organisations which all employees can understand and commit themselves to.  These leaders guide their organisations through “revital­ising change”, redesigning them from top to bottom so that they are more efficient, responsive and effective and better able to meet the changing requirements of the marketplace and society.  They drum up enthusiasm for these changes throughout the organisation.  These are the three most significant functions of transformational leaders.

Transformational leaders appear to possess a number of important traits.  They are strategic thinkers – people with excellent conceptual skills who take the broad overview and set clear visions and Missions for their organisations to attain.  They are energetic and charismatic and are excellent communicators.  They have the ability to inspire people throughout their organisation and are active in setting the pace for others to follow.

The Behavioural Approach

Whereas the trait approach looks at what effective leaders are, behavioural theories of leadership concentrate on what effective leaders do.

The Situational Approach

According to this approach, it is the situation which will determine which style of leadership to use.  Each style is more effective in some situations than in others – that is, a style which works well in one set of circumstances will not necessarily work well in another.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Better Personal Presentations to Groups

Introduction

The surprise of being asked to say a few words can shock anyone into speechless fright for a moment.  You could be asked to speak at any business meeting, to give your point of view or describe a new product.  Practise a few short openings, learn a few details (such as statistics) to give your points emphasis, and a strong conclusion.  G. B. Shaw’s advice to “stand up, speak up and shut up” contains the key; keep it brief.

Personal Presentation

Do not underestimate the importance of suitable clothing and a well-groomed appearance.  It shows you respect your audience, your company and yourself.  The audience will be distracted by anything unusual.  The best rule is to select good quality business clothes.  Suits should be made of dark materials without strong patterns, and shirts or blouses should be formal.

Avoid anything flashy or brightly coloured, and ensure that shoes shine and hair is well cut.

Many people pay more attention to the quality of another person’s shoes and accessories than anything else.  Practice your final rehearsal in the clothes you will wear on the day.  If you are confident about your appearance, that will be projected to the audience making the presentation easier.

Overcoming Nervousness

Having carefully prepared your presentation and rehearsed thoroughly, the following points will go a long way to helping you over the worst stages of nervousness.  The increased energy you feel as your confidence grows will make all the preparation worthwhile.

•           Believe in yourself.

•           Believe in the audience’s goodwill towards you.

•           Believe in what you are saying.

•           Don’t take yourself too seriously.

•           Know the opening by heart.

•           Don’t be too ambitious.

•           Practice deep breathing.

•           Practice the ‘as if’ theory.

Believe in yourself

Even if you don’t feel confident, do everything to project the authority that you really have (particularly after all that work!).  You are the one in charge and you probably know more than your audience about your subject.  Never take a negative viewpoint or apologise.  Such thoughts show in body language without you realising how clear they are to others.

Believe in the audience’s goodwill towards you

The audience wants you to succeed.  Show your interest in them with eye contact and a smile.  Such simple gestures will work well in the delicate first stages of your relationship with an audience.  At a medium-sized presentation, facial expression can be read almost as clearly as a face on television.  The more friendly your expression, the better.

Believe in what you are saying

The more committed you are to the subject, the less time you will spend thinking about your personal involvement.  When you have prepared thoroughly and rehearsed to a well co-ordinated level, the confidence of knowing that will be enough to conquer your nervousness.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Some of the most successful presenters aim for a degree of informality and quick pace.  This can mean the odd mistake on the way, but the lively delivery keeps the audience alert.  As long as the information is interesting, nobody minds the occasional slip.  Don’t expect to give a flawless performance.  It’s not a matter of life and death.  Relax and enjoy the experience!

Know the opening by heart

This will be the hardest part, so make things as easy as possible for yourself by knowing those opening words off by heart.  Take your time, move slowly, and remember the eye contact and smile before you speak.  Those first few seconds can gain you an extra helping of goodwill and attention.

Don’t be too ambitious

Keep your plans simple for the first few presentations.  Focus on the most important points and resist the temptation to lengthen the delivery, even if it is going well.  A good presentation can be ruined by an inconclusive fade-out at the end.  Stick to your plan and conclude powerfully!  Your last words will linger in their minds.

Practice deep breathing

Nervous tension is part of the body’s alert system, warning us, and at the same time supplying extra resources.  It is as though the body knows and reacts before we do, pushing us to move quickly to deal with an urgent crisis.  Do not view this negatively as it can help to achieve the goal of a first-rate presentation.  Deep breathing and deliberately slowing down, putting first things first, is a way to control this heightened alertness.  Manage the flow of adrenaline correctly and you will have the right balance for a lively but authoritative presentation.

Practice the ‘as if’ theory

Thoughts and emotions produce action.  If you are afraid, you will probably run away.  The interesting part, is that the reverse is also true.  If you smile, you will feel happier.  Look fearless, and you will feel fearless.  Behave ‘as if’ you are confident and you will feel more confident.  It really works.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Determinants of a good business strategy

Dr. Brian Monger

Competitive business advantage grows out of the difference in the cost of creating the value offering and what buyers are willing to pay for it. Value represents what buyers are prepared to pay. Superior value comes from offering superior value for prices lower or equal to competitive offerings.

Many, factors need to be considered in formulating strategy.   Six broad determinants usually dominate the design of strategy:

1.         Market opportunity, industry attractiveness, and competitive forces.

2.         The social, political, regulatory, ethical, and economic aspects of the external environment in which the enterprise operates.

3.         What an organisations skills, capabilities, and resources allow it to do best.

4.         Emerging threats to the organisation’s performance.

5.         The organisation’s culture, core beliefs, and business philosophy.

6.         The personal values, aspirations, and vision of managers, especially the most senior executive(s).

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Consulting – How To Write A Proposal

Dr Brian Monger

For any reasonable consulting job, the prospective client will likely expect a written proposal.

A written proposal accomplishes five tasks that are important for you in getting on con tract and beginning work as a consultant.

1.  The proposal is the basis for the agreement.  The proposal, then, is a sales document that ties together all the loose ends and closes the deal.

2.  The proposal documents what you are going to do.  The services you are going to perform in this consulting engagement should be clearly understood by both you and your client.  A proposal does exactly that; it spells out in black and white exactly what you are going to do, so there is a documented basis for understanding.

3.  The proposal documents the time frame of your performance.  Sometimes the client will want to know partial information before the full project is complete.

4.  The proposal documents what you are going to receive for your services.  You aren’t in business as a consultant just for fun, even though you may enjoy it immensely.  The proposal specifies the compensation that you are going to receive for the services you propose to provide.

5.  The proposal forms the basis for a contract.

How To Write A Good Proposal

There are four points to remember in writing a good proposal.

1.  Keep the structure clear and logical

2.  Use a professional but friendly style.  When you are submitting a proposal, just as in a face-to-face meeting, be professional but be friendly.

3.  Don’t spring surprises in your proposal.  After you return from your initial meeting, you will frequently get new ideas that are different from what you and your client originally visualised.  These ideas may be so good that you find it very tempting to include them in the proposal.  Resist this temptation, unless you can check with your client first.  He may need time to sell this idea to other employees, even superiors in his company.

4.  Check before you send.  If at all possible, you should double-check the main points of the proposal with your client.  Don’t assume that changes can be made after your client receives it.

The Structure For A Letter Proposal

Opening

Simply state that you are writing to submit your ideas for the project discussed earlier.

Background

Begin by restating the background of the consulting situation.  That is, restate your client’s assumptions and other general facts in the case.  This reassures the client that he has made an astute analysis of the situation.

Objectives

You should state the objectives of the engagement precisely.  Describe exactly what your client will learn or receive as a result of your work.

Methods

In this section you should describe alternative methodologies for accomplishing the objectives.  Discuss the advantages of each alternative, and then indicate which method you propose to use, and why.

Potential Problems

Any project has inherent in it, potential problems that could limit or detract from achievement.  Don’t omit or gloss over these potential problems; document them clearly, but also state how you will handle them if they occur.

The Finished Product

Your client will want to know what he can expect by way of a finished product.  Will you be furnishing a report?  A staff study? Photographs? And how many copies will you provide?

Cost and Payment Information

For most small contracts, it is not important to break down cost information unless the client requests it.  However, the timing of payment is important.  The client will want to know not only how much you want but when you want it.

 

Any additions? Comments? Examples?

Like these ideas?  Please comment

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