Business Proposal Cover Letter

Warning: A Bad Proposal Letter Will Cost You The Project

When you are bidding for a project or sending a proposal, always send a cover letter along with it. Unless of cause, you don't intend to win the project. In which case, why send it in at all?

Some experts advice that the business proposal cover letter should be a personal note from you to your main contact. I totally disagree. This line of thinking assumes that you can build a relationship with your main contact from a letter. A relationship should have been build way before you send in your proposal. If you have not build a relationship by the time you send in the proposal, chances are your competition already have and you will not win the project.

Another problem with that advice is that it assumes there is a main contact. A lot of times, especially with government contracts, there is no main contact. You have to send in your proposal and cover letter online.

Here is an example on one proposal cover letter I received via an online marketplace.

Dear Sir:

Thanks for reviewing our bid.

Following are few of our latest developed sites and projects:
  • Removed for privacy reasons. They listed 19 sites, none of which has anything to do with the project I posted.
Please let us know, if you have any concern on our bid.

Thanks for your consideration.

As you can see from the example above, this company tried to be personal with me and did not address my requirements. Obviously, I did not even look at their proposal much less consider them for the project.

Now, a proposal cover letter is nothing more that a sales letter. The purpose is to sell your product or services. The basics are the the same, you want to get the readers attention, get them interested, then make them desire your product or service and finally have them take action. In this case, get them to hire your business for whatever projects you were bidding for.

Now, here are some specific advice on how to write a business proposal cover letter.

  • Follow the advice on writing business letter essentials and use the correct business letter format.
  • If this is a solicited proposal, study the requirements and follow all instructions. A trick I like to use when asking for proposals is to ask the bidders to provide a keyword at the start of the proposal. If any proposals come in without this keyword, it is rejected no matter how good the proposal is. The reason is, if they cannot follow such simple instruction, what would happen when they do get the project?
  • Provide an overview of the business proposals, including specific recommendations and the total expense to the reader. In this overview, you can describe the problem or requirements and how your solution can help.
  • Provide a detailed cost analysis when possible or appropriate. This will allow the reader to evaluate each cost factor as a part of the total package.
  • To add authority and credence to your proposal provide the reader with supporting facts and figures. These can include examples, survey results, and case studies. Examples of results produced via your solution will help the reader answer the question, "why you?". As with the bad cover letter above, DO NOT provide non related examples. It hurts your proposal.

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Hi I'm Dax...

I’m an entrepreneur, mentor, consultant and I was a global IT service manager for one of the largest multinational in the world.

I'm here to help you write better business letters.

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