9 Words to Avoid in a Business Proposal (+ 1 You Should Always Add) [Infographic]

Bad business writing plagues sales documents everywhere. But not YOUR proposals. Right? Here’s how to create your most persuasive proposal ever by avoiding these nine words and phrases and including the one word your sales team won’t be able to close without.

Business proposal words to avoid

4 min. read

You’ve spent a lot of time setting up the perfect business proposal template.

It has compelling images, consistent branding, and—wow—just look at that gorgeous fee table.

Because that’s what really matters. Studies show that both images and branding can boost sales by 23 percent each. And everyone knows that prospects just flip to the pricing page anyway, right?

So once you have that sorted, you can just slap any old content into your proposal cover letter and other sections and prospects will be rushing to hit that electronic signature button.

Right? Wrong.

Your proposal needs strong, well-written copy, too.

Good, clear business writing builds trust. It shows you have nothing to hide, no ill-will or hidden fees lurking in vague wording and indecipherable phrases. An articulate proposal is a confident proposal and inspires your prospects to confidently say yes.

Bad writing, however, means your prospects will spend more time just trying to figure out what the heck you’re trying to say, instead of evaluating your proposal based on your solution and signing on. All this confusion sparks doubt in prospects’ minds, which is the last thing you want.

Bad business writing is estimated to cost organizations nearly $400 billion per year in lost productivity, with 8 out of 10 business people reporting that they waste hours every day slogging through poorly-written material.

But that stat won’t include your prospects and your proposals. Nope, not when our quick guide to the dos and don’ts of proposal writing is here to help you deliver a persuasive proposal filled with pitch-perfect copy every time.

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Words to remember

“Treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own.” 
— Josh Bernoff, author of Writing Without Bullshit

9 Words to Avoid in a Business Proposal (+ 1 You Should Always Add) [Infographic]