How to Write a Proposal for a Supply of Materials

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When a company that sells materials wants to gain a new customer to provide materials for, the company creates a proposal. A proposal is a written document that contains the details of the proposed arrangement and states the types of materials provided, when and how they will be delivered and the costs for the material and delivery. A good proposal informs the reader of all details needed to make the decision to accept the proposal or not. Although there is no required length for the proposal, expect it to range from two to 10 pages or more, depending on your business. Basically, the more complex or varied your materials are, the longer the proposal should be.

Create a Compelling Introduction

Write an introduction, which is a brief summary of what the proposal is about. It explains the problem, the proposed solution and the benefits the reader receives by agreeing to it. For this type of proposal, the company writing it should explain that the products and materials the reader uses are available through this company. It should also state benefits the customer will receive, such as lower prices and faster delivery, if he chooses to accept the proposal.

Example:

Every small business needs to send out mail, sometimes batches of hundreds of pieces a day. Our products can help you to sort and stamp your mail electronically so that you can get them out faster and in a more timely manner. That can mean higher productivity and faster invoice processing time, all at a very low cost to you.

Be Detailed in Your Proposal

Tell the reader what, how, when and how much in the body of the proposal. For a materials supply proposal, all details relating to the materials should be included, and it should state the exact type of materials to be sold, the delivery methods and the costs. The reader must fully understand the costs of the materials after reading the proposal. Tell the reader how often the materials will be delivered and whether the customer must reorder or if it is reordered automatically.

Example:

Given the size of your small business, we recommend a standard mail sorter and postage meter. There is a one-time cost to purchase the equipment, and a monthly fee to refill the postage and ink. The final costs depend on the particular package you purchase, which we can discuss on our follow-up phone call.

Emphasize the Benefits

Conclude the proposal by emphasizing the benefits the customer will receive by accepting the offer. It should be encouraging to the reader and should display confidence in the company making the proposal. Explain the quality of the products and include any statistical information available regarding customer satisfaction. This step of the proposal is the last attempt made to convince the customer to agree to the proposal so it is important to include facts that help your company stand out from others.

Example:

We've been in the mail business for decades, and have found that our products will save you time and money to focus on other aspects of your business. In fact, 95 percent of our customers report a significant savings in their mailing costs by using our monthly service. We look forward to discussing some options with you.

Deliver the Proposal

Sign the proposal and deliver it to the potential customer. Include any deadlines and offer to answer any questions or concerns the customer has. Include a blank on the proposal for the customer to sign and date when the proposal is accepted.

After a client accepts your proposal, provide excellent ongoing customer service. Stay aware of his needs as they change. Promptly alert him of any new supplies you carry that may benefit him. Be honest and do not oversell what you cannot deliver in order to develop prosperous business relationships and possibly gain leads.

References

About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.