Proposal Writing – Proposal Writing Strategies Learned From Dirty Harry And Magnum

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking.
Your’re thinking, “How can this guy possibly tie a renegade San Francisco police detective and a Hawaiian beach bum/Naval Intelligence Officer/private investigator into a discussion about proposal writing.”
How could two fictional characters who never wrote a proposal teach me anything about creating a successful proposal?
Let’s check out both characters.
Dirty Harry Callahan, Clint Eastwood’s character in five highly successful films in the 1970s, portrayed a renegade cop. The movies were filled with action, suspense, and drama.
Magnum, P. I. featured Tom Selleck in a hit TV series for CBS that ran for eight years in the 80s.
Here’s where the tie-in to Proposal Writing success comes in. Both characters uttered those famous words, “I know what you’re thinking.” So you’re still thinking, “What’s this got to do with proposal writing.” In 1971, when Clint Eastwood said, “I know what you’re thinking, punk,” he followed it with, “You’re thinking, ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?'” He actually used those words twice in the film – once at the beginning of the movie and once when he caught the bad guy.
In reality, he was addressing everyone in the theatre. Everyone in the theatre, or at least those that were sucked in to the drama and suspense and the action, were thinking to themselves, “Did he fire six shots or only five?” This was a brilliant piece of script writing because the actor was talking directly to the theatre audience.
The series, Magnum, P. I., became a highly popular show that featured a great cast, great writing, exotic locations, and mix of action, comedy, and suspense. But here again, the writers used the same technique in the 1980s that made the Dirty Harry movies successful in the 1970s.
In every show, Thomas Magnum talked to the TV audience. Again, you were drawn into the show because you felt he was talking to you. He often started the a segment by saying, “I know what your thinking.” Again, brilliant script writing.
Both actors talked to the audience by “knowing what they were thinking.” So, if you want to be successful with your Proposal Writing, you need to focus on your client’s wants, needs, plans, and desires.
You have to think of them as you create you proposal. Forget about all the great things your company has done and can do.
Forget about how many offices you have or how many people you employ.
You must focus clearly on your clients and how all of that great stuff pertains to them.
You must make them believe your proposal is “talking” directly to them because they can “hear” you proclaiming, “Yes, I know what you’re thinking.”
The more you take a personal approach towards the needs and words of your clients, the better your chances of positive proposal results.
So go ahead. Make my day!
Or rather, go ahead. Make your client’s day.
Al Borowski works with companies who want their employees to communicate clearly and with people who want more impact in their written and oral presentations. Al has trained more than 15,000 participants as a seminar leader for The American Management Association, Dun & Bradstreet, Penn State University, The University of Indiana Executive Development Program, and Robert Morris University.
He brings more than twenty years of sales and communication experience to his action packed keynote speeches and workshops. His exciting, innovative approach draws on years of practical application as a sales manager, business development manager, customer service manager, and business owner. His background also includes four years as an English teacher. He is a published author and a professional musician.
Al is a member of the National Speakers Association where he received their highest earned designation, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional). Less than 800 speakers world wide hold that designation He is the Past President of The Pennsylvania Speakers Association and a past board member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. He holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and a certificate in Human Resource Development.

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