Lesson 18: Differentiators and Discriminators 

Differentiators and discriminators are vital components of a compelling proposal document.

However, it’s easy to get differentiators and discriminators mixed up. Though they sound alike and serve similar functions, their impact is vastly different. 

What Is a Differentiator?

Differentiators are valuable statements that state how your solution contrasts with your competitor’s. Backing up your differentiators with tangible proof points is a surefire way to catch your client’s attention. 

What Is a Discriminator?

Both discriminators and differentiators discriminate and differentiate your solution from competitors’ offers. However, discriminators take these comparisons one step further. 

Discriminators are benefits that your client deems important. Identifying discriminators takes customer understanding and intelligence. If you do not know what your client views as important, you are probably not ready to bid on their project. 

Your client wants to know that you recognize their implicit and explicit criteria. Including discriminators takes your proposal from compliant to responsive.  

When Should I Use Differentiators and Discriminators?

First, we must understand what a theme statement is. Theme statements introduce the concepts in a particular proposal section. This brief introduction enables your readers to understand the context and topics presented in each section. They also delineate one section from the next. 

Use differentiators and discriminators within theme statements to give your offering a heftier punch. As you write your theme statements, consider the following: 

  • How does this concept differ from my competitor’s solution? 
  • Is this concept important to my client? 
  • Why is this concept important to my client? 
  • What impact will this concept have on the solution? 
  • What impact will this concept (via the solution) have on my client’s business? 

Writing your proposal using theme statements, differentiators, and discriminators demonstrates your understanding of the client’s wants and needs. Furthermore, indicating your understanding of the client’s implicit and explicit desires is vital to creating a customer-focused document. 

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash 

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