In any proposal, the project approach is likely the most important section – it is the place you get to tell the client exactly what you are going to do to make their project a success. This is where you get to shine and really show what you know about the client, their issues, and what unique solutions you bring to the table. Because this section is so important, it is critical to get started early – ideally before the RFP comes out. (And yes, we can hear you groaning from here.)
In order to write a successful strategic approach, you must research and brainstorm and then brainstorm some more. The writing is the easy part!
Get Down to the Details
As soon as you hear about the project, meet with the client to determine what is driving the project, what the challenges are, and what is most important to them. Bring that info back to the office and meet with your proposal team to pick apart what you’ve learned and develop your ISBPs (Issues, Solutions, Benefits, Proofs).
Identify the top three or four issues and really dig in on how to solve them. Throw all your ideas out there – even if they seem dumb. You never know what will end up being your silver bullet.
Once you have brainstormed all your ideas, sort through and look for those with the biggest benefit to your client and, ideally, those that only you can deliver – your differentiator. It is also important to provide the proof that this solution works and delivers the intended benefits – where have you done it before?
Tell the Story
If you have done all your pre-work, then when it comes time to sit down and write the approach, the hard part is over! Now just tell the story of their project and how you’ll help make it successful. Rely on your ISBPs to help you talk about all the unique solutions you’ve come up with to make their project a success.
Tell them how those solutions will benefit them and weave in examples of how you’ve done it in the past. Make the story about them with you as the supporting character.
When you’re done, you won’t have just another generic project approach that is a regurgitation of the RFP. You will have a strategic project approach that is tailored to the client and their project. And it will tell them why you are the best consultant to help them achieve the successful project outcome they are looking for.