Wouldn't it be fantastic to win a business award? Build credibility and boost your company reputation? Here are five tips to maximise your chances of a win...
1. Answer the question
Sounds obvious, but it’s a very easy mistake to make. Maximise you points by checking that the answer that you are providing matches the question being asked!
If the question is in multiple parts, go back and double check that you have answered all the elements of the question. Stick to word limits, and re-read your final submission to identify any place where you may have dropped points.
2. Be precise, quantify and demonstrate bottom line impact
Imagine you are applying for an award related to exemplary client service.
It’s great to be able to say ‘we embed outstanding client service at every touchpoint, reflected in excellent feedback’ but that won’t give you the edge when it comes to an award. Be explicit and quality where possible:
- How do you embed outstanding client service?
- What activities and measures do you use?
- What percentage of customers provide feedback and what are your ratings?
- Has there been an increase in repeat business, and, the critical question, has your business grown?
3. Use the active voice and remember to proofread your submission
Avoid using the passive voice. Active voice follows the subject-verb- object format. Active voice is clear and direct, and that’s what you want for a winning submission.
Not sure of the difference? Here’s a good primer, and an example:
Active: ‘The sales team generated 30 percent more leads.'
Passive: ’30 percent more leads were generated by the sales team’.
Spell and grammar checks are a must, and ideally, you’ll ask a colleague to proofread. If you need to proofread your own work, a good tip is to print it out and read it aloud. Keep an eye out for pesky words like ‘though’ and ‘through’ that are missed by spell checker software.
4. Provide supporting evidence
Supporting evidence can include testimonials, case studies, accounts, KPIs and plans, process documents, images and video.
Dig these out before you start writing so that you can build your submission on these sources from the start.
5. Don’t leave it to the last minute
Writing an awards submission takes time.
Gathering background documents and pulling together supporting evidence takes time. Talking with colleagues, checking details and proofreading takes time. Even uploading documents to the awarding body website can take time.
Award submissions are one of those tasks that you will want to spread over a few days or even a couple of weeks. Keep your chances of a win high by leaving yourself some breathing space.