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Getting it Write: The Art of Written Agency Proposals that Win

Getting it Write: The Art of Written Agency Proposals that Win

hand writing

Your agency has advanced in discussions with a prospective client far enough that it is time to deliver a written proposal. This may or may not be the final step; there may be presentations after the written proposal or there may simply be a Q&A discussion and perhaps some negotiation. Regardless, when it comes time to develop your written proposal, remember that this is an important step along the path to getting hired. You need to make a solid impression that will advance your candidacy. You want the prospect to believe that you really understand their business and challenges and they are the only client in your universe.

You need to stand out.

We’ve seen so many inartful proposals from fine agencies that did not stand out! It’s important to put the same attention to communication on your own behalf as you put into your client work. Here’s how to artfully craft a written proposal that sells.


At its core, the craft of writing proposals that win is about artfully focusing on the prospect and their business challenge and only secondarily (and in a prospect relevant manner) addressing your agency.

You are trying to woo the prospect, much like a first date. If you show up to meet someone for the first time and you immediately commandeer the conversation with a list of your own skills and accomplishments, the person across from you is going to glaze over and consider an escape plan. The same is true for the process of winning business. The prospect wants to feel respected and heard before they want to hear about you. There is an art to dating – and the written proposal is part of the agency-client dating process. When well done, there may be a client-agency marriage ahead!

will you marry me

How do you do artfully craft a winning written proposal?


The art to writing a winning written proposal is in both what you say, and how you say it.

A checklist of the elements needed to artfully craft winning written proposals includes:

  1. Prospect centric cover letter
  2. Highlighting the key business issues
  3. Strategic insights
  4. A solution that addresses the key business issues
  5. Strategic and relevant case studies
  6. Relevant experience
  7. Client-centric language
  8. Agency basics (capabilities, processes, philosophy)
  9. A winning look and feel

How can you make sure that you’ve artfully covered each element from the checklist above?

Join us in Orlando for a special two-day workshop on January 24 & 25 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort where we will dive into the art of preparing written proposals that sell! We’ve partnered with Agency Management Institute once again to present breakthrough content that can help you grow your agency.  

Whether you’re submitting a proposal in response to a referral or inbound lead or jumping through the hoops of an RFI/RFP, what you say and how you say it in your written documents is your golden ticket to the next round of consideration. Or not.

In this two-day workshop, you’re going to dive into what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to:

  • Cover letters
  • Tackling the business issue
  • Case studies
  • The basics
  • Sealing the deal with strategy
  • Look & feel
  • And then some…

This is new content that will build on what we’ve learned at Mercer Island Group by running hundreds of agency reviews and reading thousands of proposals.

Join us for a mind-blowing, notebook-filling, win ratio crushing couple of days. You can learn more and register here.

Who should attend: Agency owners, leadership teams and business development directors who are charged with growing the agency by landing new clients and growing the clients you have.

Steve Boehler, founder, and partner at Mercer Island Group has led consulting teams on behalf of clients as diverse as Zillow Group, Microsoft, UScellular, Nintendo, Ulta Beauty, Stop & Shop, Qualcomm, Brooks Running, and numerous others. He founded MIG after serving as a division president in a Fortune 100 when he was only 32. Earlier in his career, Steve cut his teeth with a decade in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, leading brands like Tide, Pringles, and Jif.