The last piece of the jigsaw of proposal basics is evidencing each response.
The client needs to believe that your responses are accurate, possible, and true. Providing evidence within your responses provides confidence in your ability to deliver and substantiates your story.
Selecting evidence that is directly relevant to the client and the opportunity is key and should be approached by thinking through the DNA of the example you wish to put forward, both in terms of the client themselves and the opportunity you are tendering for. Does it match the attributes of the client and the opportunity you are bidding for?
Recent and relevant
Make sure that your evidence is as recent as possible and that it could be independently substantiated if the client wished to do so. Be careful not to include evidence that is not true or related to previous work that did not go so well. It is possible the client could find out and it could cause embarrassment.
A common and useful form of evidence is the use of case studies. When providing case studies we would advocate including the following components where appropriate:
- Base data on the value, scale and perhaps location of the example. Perhaps include some statistics
- Provide a brief description detailing some context, and perhaps some challenges and how you overcome them
- Detail any innovation that was deployed in delivering the example, any added value derived for the client and how are you may have exceeded the client expectations
- Make sure you overtly spell out why the example is relevant to the opportunity you are tendering. Draw some comparisons between the example and the opportunity.
- Lastly include any quotations from the client on the example. Make sure that the quotes are agreed with the client of the example in advance. Don’t just make them up.
It is important to only include directly relevant case studies and to highlight why it is relevant to the client overtly. Never make the reader guess why you have included them. Spell it out for them.
Overall keep case studies focused, concise and to the point. Think through the design, using headers / signposting, images and ‘call out boxes’. You should be able to glance at the page and within three seconds understand why the example is relevant and how it supports the argument of your proposal.