O P I N I O N
Winning cover letters
Create client-focused cover letters that build trust, provide clear client benefits, and connect to your client’s broader goals or vision.
A few months ago, I was invited to present on cover letter writing as part of a (re) skilling program for AEC professionals. Like a lot of presentations this year, mine was virtual and inspired by the COVID-19 work environment. The program was motivated by the fact that many firms, in an effort to stay lean during the uncertainty of COVID, were asking more of their employees. Responsibilities expanded and hiring halted.
Quite suddenly, employees who haven’t had an active role in proposal development in some years were being asked to participate in the planning, writing, and submitting of proposals. The “new normal” is forcing firms to do business differently; and not surprisingly, that business requires proficient writing skills. Perhaps you understand this challenge all too well and want to ensure that even though proposal development may fall outside your typical duties, adapting and pivoting in this new environment is crucial to success. That’s where I come in. As a proposal management professional, I know that better writing makes for better business. I also understand that the type of writing that makes for good business is not necessarily intuitive, but it can be learned and
easily adopted. Moreover, study after study shows that cover letters are the most read part of any proposal. So, if we need to improve our writing skills, cover letter writing is a great place to start. The cover letter is your first impression. It determines whether an evaluator takes the time to review your proposal or just flips through it before moving on. An effective cover letter can win a project because without it, your proposal doesn’t get read. First, let’s begin with the easiest ways to blow it. ❚ ❚ Focusing on ourselves when trying to persuade others. The easiest and most common mistake is
See MERCEDEZ THOMPSON, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER FEBRUARY 22, 2021, ISSUE 1380
Made with FlippingBook Annual report