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Writing a winning training proposal is a big part of securing new business but it can be nerve wracking, especially if you’ve never had to write a training proposal before. The important thing to remember is that, as an expert in your field, you already possess the skills you need, although it may not feel like it!
By putting together an engaging training proposal, you can set your business apart from your competitors and show you are the right person for the job.
Are you making this common training proposal mistake?
One of the most common training proposal mistakes that companies make is to send out a service list or price list with a covering letter, while failing to show an understanding of the potential client’s needs.
Yes, businesses need to know what your training services cover but it also needs to be clear how these services relate to the client and how they will benefit them.
So, what do winning training proposals have in common?
A winning training proposal shows that you understand your client’s position and needs
Before you begin writing your training proposal, you should gather as much information as you can about the client, their history, needs and concerns, so that you can show that you have some insight into where they are right now.
What problems are they facing? How can you help?
By demonstrating that you’ve done your homework, instead of guessing what’s happening in your client’s business, it will be clear that you take a client-centric approach.
A winning training proposal introduces you and your training business
Once you understand why the client is seeking training, it is much easier to write a targeted proposal. Begin with a title page that features a short paragraph explaining who you are and what the training proposal is for. If the client has given you a brief, it’s a good idea to quote from that and identify the reason for the training using the client’s words.
You should then outline your understanding of the client’s needs. This is often known as an Executive Summary or Client Summary. This section of your proposal highlights the challenges the client is facing. For example, they may have teams across multiple sites who need training to use a new ‘in-the-cloud’ stocktaking system, or they may be merging with another company and their senior managers need training support to address the change and growth happening within the organisation.
The idea is to keep the focus firmly on the customer during this section of the proposal. Explain how you’ve analysed their needs, and what the company’s goals and objectives are, as well as highlighting any special needs they have – for example, industry-specific knowledge or meeting legislative requirements.
A winning training proposal gives a breakdown of your services and how you can meet those needs
The next stage to writing a winning training proposal is to explain your training services and how they can help the client address the problem they’re facing. You may, for example, be able to offer training across different sites or in groups so that the department in question doesn’t have to lose any downtime. Whatever solution you offer, it’s important to let the client know and explain how this will benefit them.
At this stage, you should create a section of the proposal that explains more about your training business, your credentials, awards, clients, how you’ve made a difference to other businesses and so on.
The key is to show that you can be trusted to deliver on your training proposal and that the business will benefit from choosing you for their training.
A winning training proposal details how the training will be delivered
You should use your training proposal to explain how the training will be delivered. How long will it take? What size groups can you work with? How can you deliver your training so that a department transitions smoothly from the old system to the new system?
By showing how you plan to deliver the training, what methods you propose to use, time frames, materials, content, etc., the client can plan ahead more effectively.
A winning training proposal gives a clear breakdown of the costs
Providing a transparent breakdown of your costs is another step towards building trust and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. You go into the training relationship knowing how much you will be paid and when, and the client goes into the training relationship knowing how much money the training will cost and when it will need to be paid.
A final word of warning
To ensure that yours is a winning training proposal, it’s a good idea to put it to one side for 24 hours and read it with fresh eyes before you send it to the client. Proofread the text carefully – or better yet, ask a trusted member of your training network – so that you spot any typos, punctuation and grammatical errors.
It’s also a good idea to review every sentence by asking, “Why does that matter?” If you can read a sentence and see why it’s relevant to the client then it stays, but if it’s not relevant, delete or reword it to cut out the fluff.
How do you feel about writing winning training proposals? Do you love it or hate it? Do you have a tried and tested formula or is every proposal different? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below.