27 Jul How To Use Evidence To Make Your Bids More Persuasive
We rely on evidence to prove that any claims being made in an advert, or in a debate, or anywhere else, are fair and true.
In business, the same principle applies to your bid for work – you should include strong evidence that proves your company has directly produced excellent results for past clients, and can do the same for any new opportunities you bid on.
Here, we will discuss how you can craft your bids to provide definitive proof of the value you can offer potential clients, and outline how to include evidence that backs up the claims you make in your bid proposal.
Types Of Evidence
Many types of evidence can be supplied in a bid proposal, and some types are stronger than others; this is an important factor to consider when gathering and selecting evidence to use in a bid for work.
Evidence usually falls into one of the five following categories, which are ranked below from strongest to weakest:
– Empirical Evidence: Widely regarded as the strongest type of evidence, empirical evidence provides proof that is supported by observation, and is incontestable when the relevant criteria are applied.
– Evidentiary Evidence: Evidentiary evidence is provided by a third party with no personal interest in the results. For example, statistics obtained from a third-party organisation or regulatory body (e.g. the Environment Agency). This is regarded as strong evidence.
– Institutional Evidence: This is evidence that comes from within your organisation, and can include things such as case studies and white papers.
However, institutional evidence is regarded as less reliable than empirical or evidentiary evidence, due to the factor of personal interest.
For example, a shampoo brand may find that customers report healthier hair after using their product. They have come to this conclusion based on survey findings that suggest hair is less frizzy and shinier after use. However, they may have left out other important criteria, such as the amount of hair breakage.
This means while their customers’ hair may look less frizzy and shinier, it might have the same amount of breakage as with other shampoo brands, meaning that the hair may look better but is not necessarily healthier.
– Anecdotal Evidence: Anecdotal evidence is a less reliable type of evidence. It is often general, and depends on the testimony of other parties, whose evidence-gathering process or motives you may be unaware of.
– Truisms: A truism is a statement that is so self-evidently true that it is barely worth mentioning.
When choosing statistics to use in your bid proposal, you should consider the relevance of the figures you have uncovered, as there are several factors that may influence the relevance of your data:
– Date: If you use old statistics, they will likely be out of date. Our behaviours change over time, and as such, old statistics may not be relevant to the current era.
For example, any statistic about the use of Royal Mail that dates from before 1990 is unlikely to be relevant to our world today, as our society now offers fast and convenient methods of alternative communication such as emails, social media, and mobile phones.
– Location: Statistics also vary across areas. For example, the average annual salary for people living in Surrey is higher than the average annual salary for people living in Cornwall.
Therefore, it can be inaccurate to refer to an ‘average annual salary’ when speaking with people in Cornwall, if the statistic you use for the average annual salary has been collected from residents of Surrey.
– Population: Your sample should be accurate to the population you are studying. For example, younger people are more likely to engage with content on social media, while older people are less likely.
In this example, the findings produced by surveying younger people about social media are less likely to apply to the general population, and will be less relevant still when referring to older people.
When using evidence from a research study in your bid proposal, be sure to explain it in detail so that readers can process the information as eﬀectively as possible.
Here are a few tips on doing this:
– Introduce: You should first familiarise your readers with the study material so that they know what they’re looking at and can interpret the statistics for themselves. Here, you should describe the question being investigated, the type of study that was conducted, and the study’s sample size and background.
– Evidence: Present the findings of the study, and outline the statistics gained.
– Explain: Reiterate the questions that were examined, the type of study that was conducted, its sample size and background, and analyse the conclusions in detail, including any key takeaways.
– Make A Point: Statistics can be persuasive if used well, but if they are not used to back up a point, they can lose all meaning.
Therefore, keep your reader’s interest by using only relevant statistics and relating them to the point that you originally made in order to back it up and support your case.
By using evidence in your bids in the ways we’ve outlined, you can create more persuasive proposals that will help you capture the reader’s attention and stand out from the crowd!