There are a few staples necessary to create a winning proposal (not to include pricing):
1. Compliant response per Government stipulations in the RFP, Section L, and Section M
2. Past performance and relevant experience provide substantiation for claims
3. Proposal is easy-to-read and customer-centric
How do we craft a proposal that is customer-centric? First, always put your conclusion first! Second, start is to ask yourself questions that will allow you to think like the decision maker. For example:
- What am I going to get or what will the results be?
- How much is it going to cost and is it worth it?
- What could go wrong?
- Why should I believe you? How can you prove you can do this?
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But, what if you don’t know the customer that well? First, look to the proposal for hints. For example, does the RFP mention price frequently? Does the RFP emphasize quality? If the RFP, Section L and Section M cannot help, again, think like the decision maker. For example:
- What matters to people like them?
- How does a person like that tend to make decisions?
- What matters to organizations like theirs?
- How does an organization like that tend to make decisions?
Once you start thinking like this, it is hard not to write everything as if you are responding to a proposal.
Dickson, Carl. “8 Things You Can Do To Transform Mediocre Proposal Writing Into Great Proposal Writing.” 8 Things You Can Do To Transform Mediocre Proposal Writing Into Great Proposal Writing. CapturePlanning.com, 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. <http://www.captureplanning.com/articles/8-things-to-transform-proposal-writing.cfm>.
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