HOW-TO: Winning Written Proposals in the A/E/C Industry

July 22, 2017

 Having the expertise or the best idea doesn't necessarily win the job. In the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industry, the job is awarded to the winning proposal. Often, several A/E/C professionals are competing for the same work, which makes getting noticed and then selected by the decision-makers more difficult. Below are a few tips to put your next proposal over the top and at the top of your next client's list. The main takeaways: fluff does not belong in your A/E/C proposal, but some flair should, and visual aids help clients see the project you're describing.


Get to the Point

Your written architecture proposal or construction bid should be concise and to the point. Don't waste your client's time on pointless generalities. Be specific, responsive and free of fluff. Don't waste your own time by taking up space with filler when you could be maximizing the limited amount of time you're holding their attention.


Once you have a draft, take the time to go through and review, deleting unnecessary fluff and content that does not clearly answer the questions posed or project's guidelines.


Illustrate Your Point

Using fewer but pointed words doesn't mean your content should be bland. Quite the opposite. Your goal is to bring the project to life, and first, you need to bring your vision to life for them. Visual aids help amplify the written proposal.


A picture is worth a thousand words

Research suggest that presentations with visual aids are 43 percent more persuasive with their audiences. Furthermore, someone is 94 percent more likely to read an article with images. Because proposal reviewers might not read every bit of information, especially if contained within large blocks of text, visual aids are critical to incorporate.

  • Charts, graphs and infographics convey content more quickly

  • Images add visual interest and are more pleasant to view than large blocks of text

Virtual reality:

Virtual reality (VR), in which people can interact with a computer-generated, three-dimensional environment, can be a powerful tool. Through the use of a VR headset, a potential client is immersed in a three-dimensional environment that gives the sensation of actually being inside a building or on a construction site. VR provides a sense of scale and depth that communicates spatial relationships in a way more clients can understand. VR also evokes an emotional response and makes the proposal more "real."

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