One fine summer morning Tom’s eyes were fixed on his computer screen. It read “Unfortunately, your proposal did not get selected.”
Indeed, a painful moment for a business that understands the cost of a lost bid. Many bids fail and get rejected by clients, which can be discouraging for many writers. This is a challenge faced by multiple bid writers who aspire to have their proposals accepted. Writing a proposal is not as easy as it seems, however, with the right skills and relevant understanding, you will be able to write a bid response and stand a chance to win it too. In no manner does losing the bid mean that you are not a good proposal writer; it simply showcases that you need to change the strategy and present a compelling response to the evaluator.
A bid response includes an understanding of the challenges faced by clients. It is used to highlight the company’s qualifications and provide imperative details such as pricing, technical expertise, and timeframe. It helps the client consider all factors before making a conclusive decision regarding accepting a contractor for the job.
A professional proposal consists of s elements. This will be inclusive of qualifications as mentioned above, the approach taken to accomplish it, any sub-contractors required for the task, and past projects completed in the relevant field.
Read the proposal extensively
This means that every proposal should be read carefully. I don’t mean only glance through the project details, but you should go through every document available related to the project in detail so that you have a clear understanding and that is precisely what will flow in the proposal document. It will help highlight your capabilities to the client better. Information such as minimum qualifications, certifications, and clearances along with others are critical pieces of information which must be taken into consideration before going ahead with writing your proposal.
Conduct prior research
Before beginning to write the proposal, it is essential to do your homework. This includes extracting the company’s details, reviews by other providers and conducting a background check on the buyer so that the effort that you will invest in writing bid proposal proves to be fruitful. It is natural that it will be time consuming to conduct specific research on the client and the key decision makers, however, this will extensively increase the chances of your bid being accepted, which is worth the effort. The key is to drive your thought process from the client’s perspective.
Check for competitors
You should conduct a competition analysis to understand who else is placing their bid for the same work as yours. This will help you place yourself in comparison to them and based on that improve your proposal. By doing so, you will be able to create a bid proposal that will help your company stand out. An alternative may also be to offer an additional good or service which will encourage your company to stand out.
Include relevant work
A crucial aspect of writing a bid proposal is to include some of your organisation’s past work, which will help your client evaluate your credibility even better. It will always increase the chances of your bid being accepted. Past work must portray past projects in a similar domain or testimonials from previous clients; this will create a positive impression on your client and will lead to a long-term relationship with your company.
Personalise the proposal
In no manner whatsoever shall your bid writing seem like it is generic for every client. Most individuals operate on a template-based writing system which is highly unprofessional. Your writing style should appeal to the potential client in such a way that it seems as if you have put in the effort to analyse the company’s requirements and background in detail and based upon that created the proposal. It should not seem as if it is a copy-paste exercise.
Audit the proposal
Before passing the proposal document on to the next step, it is essential to audit the document. This is inclusive of sharing the document with the Bid Auditor or Editor and ensuring that the Quality Checklist has been met with and is compliant with the evaluation criteria. The RFP instructions must follow the initial formatting to meet the set standards of a bid response. A final report must be created based on this process and reviewing the company policies.
Proofread your proposal
This is part of the last phase of the bid proposal writing process. However, its value is underestimated at times. It is natural to make mistakes while writing, such as errors related to spelling, formatting, grammatical, or any other diction-related mistake in your bid. It happens, ‘to err is human.’ The vital thing is to go through your proposal again and read it with fresh eyes and examine it thoroughly to rectify any mistakes that may have occurred and change the status quo. You want to give a professional outlook to the bid proposal, which is why you would not want any errors to be left behind for the client to catch.
As already mentioned earlier, it is imperative to write the best proposal document possible. It serves as an indication of your company’s capabilities to perform the task offered by the client. There is ample competition consisting of writers who compete to win the same bid. Hence, it would be best to keep these important guidelines in mind while writing your proposal. This will not only help you win one specific bid but also all the future ones you compete for.