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:
- Don't be passive; sell your company & services.
- Provide what is asked for ... don't miss anything.
- Follow the client's format.
- Restrict the validity period of your bid... so they can't say "Yes" two years later and hold you to old pricing.
- Run spell check!
- Put yourself in the evaluator's shoes to truly understand what they want.
- Be price conscious - be competitive!
- Be precise, don't "waffle".
- Be professional; don't use slang, jargon, or abbreviations.
- Don't bore them with pages of your corporate accolades; tell them what matters to them
- Use presentation wisely ... the proposal should be pleasing to read.
- Try to protect proprietary information from being available to others.
- Tell them why you are the best; and why no one else will do this for them.
- 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:
- A reason for your client to meet with you.
- Opportunity to learn more about your client.
- A heads-up on future opportunities.
- 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!