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

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Trap 4: Using Knotty Words Incorrectly

I remember reading a cover letter that stated how much the RFP had “peaked” the writers’ interest. Hmmm. I don’t think so. It probably didn’t “peek,” either. Maybe what they were trying to say was that the RFP had “piqued” their interest.

Another proposal writer slipped into the common mistake of using a currently popular buzzword in his writing without really knowing what it means or how it’s spelled. He wrote: “This application is ideal for use in a nitch market.” Nitch? Have you ever seen a “nitch market”? Do you think one could buy a nitch on sale there? Of course, the writer meant niche. But the damage is done.

Here are some knotty usage problems that can pop up in proposal writing. Maybe a few of ...

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