Friday, October 7 th , 2011 – 10:30 am Greater Washington Procurement Conference Mid Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Washington, DC 20002. How to Prepare Winning Competitive ProposalS , EVERYTIME. Excellent Team The Customer Knows Us RFP Compliant Response Responsible Vendor(s)
Friday, October 7th, 2011 – 10:30 am
Greater Washington Procurement Conference
Mid Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Washington, DC 20002How to Prepare Winning CompetitiveProposalS, EVERYTIME
The Customer Knows Us
RFP Compliant Response
Strong Solution Features
Excellent Past PerformanceWhy Aren’t My Company Proposals Winning More Contracts?
A WINNING Proposal - Necessary but Insufficient Conditions:
This opportunity was ours to win; what happened?
Section C– The Work Requirements – Basis for Solution(s)
Section L – Format and Structure for Proposal Response Document (Volumes)
Section M– Basis for AwardMajor rfp writing drivers
The drivers for writing are contained in the SOW, Section L and Section M
Excellent Team – Why?
The Customer Knows Us – And do we know them?
RFP Compliant Response – Minimal to Level the Playing Field
Responsible Vendor(s) – As demonstrated by?
Strong “Solution” Features – What’s in it for the Customer?
Excellent Past Performance – Relevance
…Crafting Proposals that Win
A WINNING Proposal – Meets all the Necessary Conditions and SELLS
A proposal is a technical document that SELLS, and sells Best Value throughout.
How are many horse races decided?
Winning by a nose!
Horse – One nose; on the face and that’s the one that will cause a WIN in a tight race
Winning Proposal – Many noses, many places, and you never know which one will cause you to WIN
Winning Proposal Strategy – Put in your proposal as many noses as you can
And where do you start with your first nose?
Winning Horses versus Winning Proposals
A Proposal Nose (# 1) – The Cover, Your Initial Impression will cause a WIN in a tight race
Who is this person?
Reviewers are human: impatient; overloaded; want to make good but quick decisions and are short of time.
A Proposal Nose (#3) - Acronym List will cause a WIN in a tight race
Make the acronym definitions clear and easy to find and you’ll also make a friend of your proposal reviewer!
Sometimes asked for, never ignored.
1-2 pages (short) will cause a WIN in a tight race
Initial greeting (hello)
Conveys some highlights of proposal and interest
Whom to contact for questions
Period offer is valid
Signed by top level personA Proposal Nose (# 5) – The Letter of Transmittal
Say “hello” in a meaningful way that conveys valuable sell information.
2-5 pages will cause a WIN in a tight race
Benefits of proposal
Major sell themes
Follow flow of proposal
High impact for lasting impression
Replacement for introduction
When written?A Proposal Nose (# 6) – The Executive Summary
Grabs the initial reader and convinces the final reader.
Section executive summary will cause a WIN in a tight race
Graphic and caption
Highlights of section
Can be multiple pagesA Proposal Nose (# 7) – “First Page” Lead-In
The second trick to writing a skimable proposal is to tell the reader all the selling points at the start versus the end.
What sets you apart such that no one else can say the same of themselves?
One sentence will cause a WIN in a tight race
Feature-benefitA Proposal Nose (# 9) – Main and Major Themes
Themes set the tone and expectation for writing that follows.
Sprinkled throughout proposal will cause a WIN in a tight race
Feature – what you bring to the government
Benefit – value derived by the governmentA Proposal Nose (# 10) – Features and Benefits
The features of a proposed solution are without meaning to the recipient unless the benefits are cleared stated.
Right brain – left brain integration will cause a WIN in a tight race
Caption messageA Proposal Nose (# 11) – Graphics and Captions
A relevant picture, enhanced by a relevant caption, enables the busy reviewer to skim your proposal.
All RFP requirements will cause a WIN in a tight race
Sections and title
Response location in proposal
Included with submission
Typically follows table of contents
Could be many pages – not usually
part of the page countA Proposal Nose (# 12) – A Compliance Matrix
Before all else, be compliant!
Easy to find will cause a WIN in a tight race
Right Brain Stimulation
Left Brain Integration
Whole Brain Communication
SkimableA Proposal Nose (# 13) – Making it Easier on the Reviewer
Write to sell by writing to effectively communicate quickly and persuasively.
Be bold and back it up with facts.
A well written proposal uses less words, more action verbs, short paragraphs and is replete with “show” versus “tell”.
Century Planning Associates, Inc. will cause a WIN in a tight race