Guerrilla Tactic Keep It Short

Keep your proposal as short as possible. A study by The Sant Corporation showed that when proposals are piled on a table, people pick up the smallest one first.* Recipients also tend to resent having to read through proposals that are stuffed with unnecessary information. Remember, you'll be competing with other consultants, and one of the factors on which you'll be judged is efficiency.

If your document is running long or you must elaborate on a particular point, submit two documents: your proposal and a separate appendix. This will keep your proposal short and reader friendly.

*The study result about proposals is from the interview with Tbm Sant, "This Month's Featured MasterMind: Tom Sant on Creating Winning Proposals," Management Consulting News (April 1, 2003). Available from http://www.managementconsultingnews.com/newsletter_april_03.htm.

The Sant Corporation conducted tests with a group of people who make their living evaluating proposals. Sant said, "We gave them three proposals, one 25 pages, one 50, and one 100 pages long. We asked them to look for certain things, but we didn't really care about that. Typical psychological experiment— we just wanted to see which one they would pick up first. Almost without exception, they picked up the shortest one first because they wanted to get one out of the way quickly."

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