The first step in writing an effective business proposal is to find out what the client needs. To do that learn all you can about their business.

There are basically three ways to research and learn about your client’s business:

  • Talk to them. Ask questions. Listen to what they say, but also pay close attention to how they answer. What they don’t say is often as important as what they do say. If the client is local, consider meeting with them in person.
  • Look for online data. Find out all you can about your client. The more you know, the more you can help. Learn what you can about their industry if you’re not already familiar with it. Start with the client’s website and the search engines.
  • Check professional registries. Other sources to check include professional registries and listings. These registries give you an idea of how the business compares to its competitors. In the U.S. The Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau are two registry examples.

While you’re learning about the client’s business, think of ways that your products or services can help them. Take notes. When you are ready to write your business proposal, you’ll need this information.”

See the whole article at Tuts+.