The Interview-Business Proposal Secrets Revealed

By Grace Aluabri   |   Feb 18 2021

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the Vice President for Business Operations for Techspecialist Consulting Limited(TCL) – Mr. Lanre Yusuf.


He has over a decade in business operations, a key contributor to the company’s explosive growth in gaining and sustaining noteworthy tech support in numerous international, government, and private organizations in Nigeria.

He is the epitome of diligence, handwork, and business mastery. He is an eloquent speaker, a great facilitator, MS office suite expert, with numerous qualifications and training in Business Operations. it is no wonder that he is an aggressive business promoter.

Fun fact: to all staff, he is referred to as the “Mother” of management- the sympathetic leader. 🙂

Today he speaks on his success tips on how to create a winning Business Proposal.

Q: In your experience what are the common mistakes you see people make when writing a proposal?

A: Firstly, using boilerplate — written material that can be reused in different proposals — is a double-edged sword. As much as it makes it easier and quicker for the writer, it has a high tendency of being prone to errors such as using the wrong prospect name, date, words, etc that were meant for another proposal concept. Think of this as copy and paste.

Secondly, the use of buzzwords and jargon that does not resonate with the reader, who may be top management staff. Eg: MFP-Multi-factor authentication is a term usually familiar to an ICT expert but not the CEO or CFO of a non-tech company.

Thirdly, failing to add value – if everyone can do it then there is nothing special in it. One mistake often made by the writer is not to convince the prospect why you are the best for the job.

Fourthly, not having someone else review the submission.

Q: What will you say are some elements of a good proposal?

A: There are two major elements of a good proposal, are COMPLIANCE and RESPONSIVENESS.

Compliance in the sense that strictly adhering to the prospect’s bid request, both the submittal instructions and the requirements outlined in the bid request document.

Responsiveness means addressing the prospect’s underlying needs. There is always a need for a proposal request whether it is solicited or unsolicited, the need has to be addressed.

Note: A Proposal can be responsive but not compliant, compliant but not responsive, both, or neither. The job of the writer is to be conscious of these two elements in developing a proposal.

Q: Oh that is insightful! What if it is both and yet the proposal is not accepted? What will your advice to the bidding company be?

A: Like I previously said, many factors may cause you not to get the job. Yes, a non-compliance or responsive proposal may be one of them. But one thing for sure I do is to ask for feedback from the organization

Feedback enables you to know why your proposal didn’t scale through, what they were expecting that you didn’t include if your price was above budget if there is a stakeholder or management staff that doesn’t like your company and a whole lot.

Q: Will you be willing to share one “trade secret” with our readers? You could whisper or write it out in a very small font size. 🙂

A: So my trade secret is to follow-up for feedback from a contact person, I first must have identified who that person is. It is an invaluable gift to have someone who can give you better guidance as to the company’s expectations on the set job.

Q: Truly that can be such a game-changer!

A: Lanre Continues: But the truth is it is not always possible and if that is the case, then I do my research and make it as complainant and responsive to the request as I can.

Q: That is an invaluable tip. Thank you so much, Mr. Lanre Yusuf.

You have been a source of great information, you are always resourceful! Thank you again.

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