In many proposals, the executive summary is where you know everyone will read it. Similar to a cover letter, the executive summary provides an opportunity to emphasize how your company solves customer pain points. The purpose of the executive summary is not just to summarize your proposal, but to summarize what life would be like if your company were selected for the project. The executive summary allows you to tell a story that connects with your audience and inspires them to choose you in the competition.
Always use the executive summary as the last step in your proposal. Before creating an executive summary, you must understand all the details of your proposal, otherwise you will end up reviewing the content several times. Generally speaking, the executive summary will follow the following layout:
First, summarize the weaknesses or challenges that the customer is trying to solve. It can be a few sentences or paragraphs. The goal is to show that you understand the problem they are trying to solve and the unique challenges they face.
After describing the problem or problem, continue to look for a solution. This does not necessarily mean that you (yet) describe your solution in depth, but you write down how they will achieve their goals at a higher level.
For example, if a customer is currently facing a challenge due to outdated technology, their solution to that challenge is to upgrade their technology to x, y, and z. You can write this in one paragraph or a few sentences before entering the company.
Now that you have introduced your customer prospects, your challenges and solutions, it is time to discuss how your specific business or solution solves that challenge. You can give a brief overview of the service you provide, but make sure it is always relevant to your pain points and challenges. One way to do this is to always follow any description of your services and bring them benefits.
If your company or proposal has unique advantages over competitors, you should also mention these in the executive summary and specify them in the proposal. The goal is to win your audience as early as possible, not to make them skeptical when they read your proposal.
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