“I Keep Six Honest Serving Men …
Who taught me all I know
Their names are Who, What,
Why, Where, How, and When.”
These six honest questions will allow your proposal to move from Compliant to Compelling proposal.
If you have just started bidding for business service contracting, it can be an overwhelming process as bidding proposals are lengthy, at times complex and often come along with rigid deadlines.
An effective proposal is also a competitive one. It must clearly communicate a thorough understanding of the Request for proposal (RFP), offer a compelling narrative and persuasive tone in every section of your proposal. It must also address how your company will provide the best possible solution to the agency’s needs, propose a better value in terms of skills and pricing than other competing proposals.
Let’s see how we can effectively use these Honest questions!
In this article, we have covered “The 5 best practices to write a winning proposal.”
On the other hand, if you’re ignoring both the evaluation and the instruction criteria and going your way to tell your story – you will end up wasting your bid as you have started directly down the path to a loss.
Adhere to the compliance issues to avoid your proposal being thrown out. Prepare a checklist using a spreadsheet before developing an outline. This process will ensure that you do not miss important details.
Often the instructions are clear statements that you’ll easily understand and follow.
This statement refers to different key points, should it be considered one point or three points?
Your approach here should be comprehensive that should address each phrase after the other. Now, the above statement becomes three sub-topics:
Integrating Information Assurance Considerations – within Infrastructure Activities, within Systems Development, within Maintenance Activities.
Outlining this as three topics will give you the most comprehensive answer and this approach helps you absolutely, positively be compliant.
Proposals aren’t read; they’re scored! And to score the highest, it should reflect well the reader’s preferences. So, start with looking for the delivery/submission date, taking a good buffer time for preparing the document, creating a pipeline to schedule support required for timely submission, for instance, writing proposed volumes, multiple reviews, subcontractor quotes, and pricing information, etc.
Follow the correct format dictated in the RFP and make sure that all the pages comply with it, incorporating font size, spacing, margins, printing requirements, and binding pagination.
“I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.”
The proposal should have information arranged within different sections for being distributed among evaluators, such as technical, finance, management. Each section should be complete on its own and if in case certain information is needed in two or more than two sections to make sense of the other information, it must be included in both. Checkout How does B2B sales look like in 2030?
The quality of the proposal depends on how well it delivers a strategic response that focuses on how both parties are going to comply. A strategic response can also become the differentiator that sets you apart from competitors bidding alongside.
Use simple English to be clear and concise while telling your story. All elements of the story, especially the words used, should convey how your company will comply with the client’s needs. Avoid being superlative in your tone and using unsubstantiated language. Additionally, don’t make claims that lack relevance to the project or do not address the client’s requirements.
“I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.”
Once your proposal draft is ready, review it before delivery. The reviewer must conduct it from the evaluator’s perspective, ensuring that the formatting criteria are met, and they must pinpoint any problems or unmet questions.
A thorough review will ensure that you remain responsive and compliant while conveying the key messages. This will help the evaluator to know why you are their best choice.
Bids and Beyond offer Bid consulting services where our Bid Consultants follow a 3C3P framework. Wherein a Bid Architecture outlines critical elements of a bid that is stitched together by a proposal writer to develop a compelling proposal. Book a session with our Bidding Experts now.