Develop an idea for a product (or service) and imagine that you are the business owner trying to convince a local retail outlet to carry (or use) it. Use the Internet and other resources if necessary to gather information about similar products or services. For example: If you’re interested in marketing a new energy drink, research existing companies for ideas to make your product realistic. Do NOT use an existing brand for your product/service; be creative and come up with your own idea.

Your task is to write an unsolicited informal sales proposal in letter format to the owner (or manager) of the business proposing that the item be stocked or that your service be used.
[In Ch 11 pay close attention to the section “Planning Proposal.” Note the discussion of unsolicited proposals.]

Use the information you gathered to describe some of the product’s (or service’s) features and benefits to the business. Then make up some reasonable figures, highlighting what the item costs, what it can be sold for, and what services your company provides (return of unsold items, free replacement of unsatisfactory items, necessary repairs, and related issues). If you’re proposing a specific service also provide figures and contract terms.

Remember the specific purpose of your proposal is to convince a business to carry a particular product or use a particular service. To do this, you will want to consider the interests and concerns of your audience. Although your audience may not have an initial interest in your product, they are interested in marketing products that sell in sufficient volume and with sufficient markup to contribute to the store’s profit. If you’re proposing a service, then the audience will want to know how it will benefit their business in specific ways.

Prepare your proposal carefully. If readers approve the proposal, it forms the basis of a contract, so be certain to spell out precisely what your company will provide under specific terms and conditions.

Develop a product or service idea that you are truly interested in since your passion for what you have to offer will be apparent in your proposal. Proposing something that you really care about will make it both more enjoyable to write and more convincing to your audience.

The completed proposal should range from 3-4 pages in length in letter format, using single-spaced block paragraphs with double-spacing between each paragraph; also use subheadings to guide your reader through the proposal. This assignment is considered an informal proposal and so should NOT include prefatory or supplementary materials (title page, executive summary, appendices, etc.).

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