You leave evaluators guessing at the viability of your solution without strong proposal central graphics.
A common question I get is, “What are proposal central graphics and why do I need them?” A good friend, explained it best. He told of the time he put the pieces of a jig-saw puzzle on a table without the box top and challenged his team to finish it. They immediately started sorting and assembling. Finally, one team member took him aside and asked if he could give them the box top. Case in point. Puzzle pieces make more sense when you visualize the big picture. The same is true in a proposal. Here are 3 winning tips for proposal central graphics.
- People need to see the big picture first. It’s the way we’re wired, if you think about it. You look at the map to see where you are going before you start selecting streets when planning a trip. You look at the dish before assembling ingredients when attempting a new recipe. You look at the box top before assembling a jig-saw puzzle. Why should it be any different in a proposal? Evaluators need to see proposal central graphics before they read the text. Create your proposal central graphics before you start writing.
- It guides everyone to your value proposition. Proposal central graphics give evaluators and the proposal team a roadmap. They show how your proposal supports the RFP requirements. Evaluators are not left guessing if you addressed everything and how your solution works. It gives writers direction on how to write their sections. It enables color team reviewers to provide the constructive feedback. Everyone can hold sections up to proposal central graphics to see how well they fit. They help people visualize your value proposition.
- Keep it simple. Another one of his rules is “keep it Dick and Jane” simple. (Dick and Jane were the stars in our early grade school reading books.) Proposal central graphics that contain clever or complicated detail fail. Process graphics need to flow without crossing lines or jumping around. Major pieces of proposal central graphics need to support the text, and vice versa. I’m a firm believer that Simple Always Wins!
Visualizing your value proposition supports the win. If your proposal is a collection of pieces, you force the evaluator to try to fit them together. They have to guess how one piece supports another. They have to guess if the individual pieces will work in the solution. They have to guess why you included certain pieces. Your proposal is a jig-saw pieces sitting on a table and no box top without strong proposal central graphics. Increase your win probability by including proposal central graphics.