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Proposals are a Great Sales Tool

My name is Stine and I am a Proposal Writer out of the Ottawa office and today I am writing the blog while Kevin is away. I'm just going to talk a little about what I do...

When people ask what I do for a living, and I say "Proposal Writer", they usually get a confused look on their face and they usually say "oh, that's nice -- but what do you do?" My response is usually... As part of a proposal team, I help Sales respond to municipal, provincial, and federal government requests for services/proposals (RFS/RFP). OK, so maybe the confused look is still there! Let's just say the job entails much more than just 'writing a proposal'...

To have an effective proposal, here are some tips:

  1. Don't be passive; sell your company & services.

  2. Provide what is asked for ... don't miss anything.

  3. Follow the client's format.

  4. Restrict the validity period of your bid... so they can't say "Yes" two years later and hold you to old pricing.

  5. Run spell check!

  6. Put yourself in the evaluator's shoes to truly understand what they want.

  7. Be price conscious - be competitive!

  8. Be precise, don't "waffle".

  9. Be professional; don't use slang, jargon, or abbreviations.

  10. Don't bore them with pages of your corporate accolades; tell them what matters to them

  11. Use presentation wisely ... the proposal should be pleasing to read.

  12. Try to protect proprietary information from being available to others.

  13. Tell them why you are the best; and why no one else will do this for them.

  14. Make it easy for them to award you points and award you the contract!

Finally, if you should happen to lose this one, ask for a debriefing! This is a back-door sales opportunity that is not used to its full potential...

Debriefings give you:

  1. A reason for your client to meet with you.

  2. Opportunity to learn more about your client.

  3. A heads-up on future opportunities.

  4. Opportunity to learn how to improve your future bids.

If used correctly, proposals are a great sales tool to help win government business. Just ask a proposal writer!