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Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts by Tom Sant

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Adjusting for Levels of Expertise

Another element of Cicero’s formula has to do with the audience’s level of expertise: “speak my words” means to use language or, more generally, content, that the audience understands. That applies to our use of jargon and acronyms, to the assumptions we explain and those we take for granted, and to the actual details we include.

If you stay consciously aware of your audience as you write your proposal, you are much more likely to communicate at the right level. And if you don’t stay aware, you’ll probably end up writing to yourself. You’ll use the words and make the assumptions that seem appropriate to you. But how many customers and prospects do you have who know as much as you do about your topic? How many ...

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