Selling a Proposal to Staff
When presenting a new idea to staff, a manager has to explain how the process will work and talk about what will be done to deal with any difficulties. Whatever the proposal is, it has to be accessible to employees, so keep to the point and try to avoid being distracted by details.
The main objective at this stage is to show that the ideas are valid, so offer to hold a follow-up meeting or to answer questions by email once the employees have had a chance to digest the proposal and think it through.
When explaining the proposal, a manager has to take employees step-by-step through to the final goal. Distribute handouts that highlight the key aims and try to focus on these points. Say who will be involved, give a timescale and clarify what resources and support will be available. A manager has to be able to explain the main goals as simply as possible, demonstrate that they have thought things through, show confidence in their ideas and handle any objections with ease.
Deal With ObstaclesNo proposal can deal with every possible eventuality, but the more a manager anticipates during the proposal development, the more robust the ideas will become. Proposal writing involves thinking about likely obstacles and working out how they can be dealt with. During the proposal development, a manager should look at their ideas from the point of view of their worst critic. Revise the proposal until every contingency has been taken into account. A manager has to acknowledge the limits of their proposal, so if there are any problems they cannot solve, they should say so.
There are key points that each different type of proposal must deal with. For instance, if the main thrust of the proposal is to reallocate roles, explain how the new roles will make the most of each team member’s strengths. When changing procedures, highlight how the new procedures will improve the effectiveness of administrative tasks.
Explain the BenefitsIf the proposal is to introduce new systems, it must explain the benefits that new technologies will bring in terms of business development. When the idea is to implement training, talk about how the training will reflect well on the company’s commitment to its staff, and if planning to develop new products, demonstrate how the proposed products will meet customers’ needs effectively.
Before they present their ideas to staff, a manager should deal with any doubts they may have about the proposal and look at all the alternatives. The proposal is ready only when a manager would be willing to invest his own money and time in it.
Proposal consulting services are available if a manager does not have the expertise or time required to write and develop a proposal. Proposal writing experts can be hired to do the job, but come at a price. If a manager believes the cost of employing a proposal consulting service will be overshadowed by the advances in business development then it may be worthwhile drafting in the professionals.