Print Article I just got home from a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my mother, sister, brother, niece and nephew in Franklin Park, New Jersey. The roads were slick from an early snow shower that turned to freezing rain. It was a bit fluffy like this one might end up and one of the MTT readers called me on it. However, I never provided a sample for two reasons.
But nothing compared to the feeling of writing an executive summary. There is so much dissent about the function of the executive summary — what it should say, what it should do, how long it should be, and whether it be written before or after the body of the proposal — that it can add to the already stressful task of getting a winning proposal written, designed, and out the door to the client on time.
The executive summary is arguably the most valuable component of any proposal.
Its purpose is clear, its potential is huge, and putting it together can be straightforward if you change your approach and follow a few simple steps. Hopefully, it will make the proposal process less painful, and help you convince anyone on your team who might disagree to follow your lead.
The purpose of an executive summary First of all, the executive summary needs a rebrand. To me, the name itself speaks of stuffy suits, boring, jargon-filled reports, and boardrooms filled with cigar smoke and people ready to say no. They think that this is where you explain the entire proposal in words.
It should be persuasive, outlining why the client should choose your company. It should be specific and focus on results. You can save the features for the body of the proposal.
So you better make it good. Some people feel you should write the executive summary first because it can help you outline your concept and organize your thoughts for the entire proposal.
Plus things may have changed since you first started the proposal so you might need to adjust your approach. My suggestion is chocolate AND peanut butter. Election issue I like to write the executive summary first because it helps to filter all the ideas our team had during the brainstorming process about the best way to pitch this client.
Once the body of the proposal is finished, I then go back to tweak the executive summary as needed. Sometimes new ideas rose to the top as we worked through the proposal, or early ideas turned out to be impossible to execute due to the client budget or timeline.
I used to leave writing the executive summary to the end, and since inevitably we were always in a time crunch to deliver the proposal to the client, I would feel anxious and rushed to get it done. I could edit the executive summary as needed and I knew there would be no huge surprises in what other team members had prepared.
How to write an executive summary: Focus on the issue and the result, but be direct, concise, and evocative. We get it Before a client hires you, they want to know that you get them. This section of the executive summary is where you demonstrate your grasp of the situation. You should also talk about how the client will benefit from solving the problem - what will change, the positive outcomes, the results.Goals are broadly classified into two categories: short-term goals and long-term goals.
You will be able to accomplish a short-term goal in approximately six months to three years, while it will usually take three to five years to reach a long-term one.
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