Handbook For Writing Proposals, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

Book description

Proven techniques and invaluable advice for writing winning business proposals—revised and updated!

What makes a winning business proposal? It highlights your skills and services, meets your client's needs, and clearly sets you apart from the competition.

Since 1995, Handbook for Writing Proposals has helped thousands of professionals develop winning proposals. This exceptional handbook guides you through the unique nine-step proposal-writing process from the initial RFP to the client presentation. In this revised and updated version, the authors show you how to:

  • Choose the RFPs that give you the best chance of success
  • Showcase your company's skills and services
  • Set realistic time/cost schedules and budgets
  • Avoid the mistakes that sink most proposals
  • Build client relationships that bring you repeat business
  • Tailor your writing for an international business audience

The second edition also offers you a wealth of downloadable forms and checklists that you can adapt for your own proposal-writing process.

Whether you own your own business, need to train your corporate staff, or simply want to improve your skills, Handbook for Writing Proposals, second edition will show you how to profit from every proposal you write.


This book guides you through the process of creating the best impression of your sweat equity to your customer. Whether you need to polish up and improve every aspect of the proposal or just certain elements, this book will fill the need. Remember, the economics of gain only occur when a customer feels you’ve fulfilled a need and created value.
Paul V. Baron, President, In-Store Bakery Division, The Quarter Oats Company

Handbook for Writing Proposals offers a wealth of down-to-earth, practical guidance on all phases of proposal writing. The book is well organized and full of concrete ideas that are easy to include in real-life situations. The sample letters, checklists, budgets, and proposals are extremely valuable. This book is a great resource for anyone whose success depends on convincing others through the proposal process.
Richard M. Sawdey, Former Vice President and Secretary, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Handbook for Writing Proposals
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. 1 Where to Begin
    1. Opportunities and Pitfalls
    2. Types of Proposals
    3. Four Key Questions
    4. Your Planning Process
    5. Locating New Business
    6. Which Jobs to Target
    7. When Not to Write a Proposal
    8. Characteristics of a Winning Proposal
  7. 2 9-Step Proposal Process: An Overview
    1. 9-Step Proposal Preparation and Writing Process
    2. Step 1: Bid/No-Bid Analysis and Decision
    3. Step 2: The Proposal Team
    4. Step 3: RFP Analysis
    5. Step 4: Preparation Schedule
    6. Step 5: Assignment of Tasks
    7. Step 6: Development of Program Design
    8. Step 7: Development of Front Matter and Executive Summary
    9. Step 8: Producing the Proposal
    10. Step 9: Client Presentation
  8. 3 Selecting the Bid and Choosing the Proposal Team
    1. Step 1: Bid/No-Bid Analysis and Decision
    2. Step 2: The Proposal Team
    3. Where to Look for Market Information
  9. 4 Finding Your Unique Selling Point
    1. Step 3: Detailed RFP Analysis and Your USP
    2. Step 4: Preparation Schedule
    3. Step 5: Assignment of Tasks
  10. 5 Developing Your Program Design
    1. Step 6: Program Design—The Heart of Your Proposal
    2. Your Compliance with the RFP
    3. Three Parts of the Program Design
    4. Appendixes in a Proposal
    5. Summary of a Winning Program Design
  11. 6 Writing the Front Matter and Executive Summary
    1. Step 7: Front Matter and Executive Summary
    2. The Front Matter
    3. The Executive Summary
    4. Common Errors
    5. Executive Summary Checklist
  12. 7 Producing Your Proposal
    1. Step 8: Proposal Production
    2. Criteria for Using Graphics instead of Words
    3. Using Tables and Graphics Effectively
    4. Designing Tables and Graphics
    5. Final Checklist
  13. 8 Making Client Presentations
    1. Step 9: Presenting the Proposal to the Client
    2. Planning Steps
    3. Organizing the Presentation
    4. Practicing the Presentation
    5. Survival Tips
    6. Checklist for Client Presentations
  14. Appendixes
    1. Appendix A: Sample Executive Summary
    2. Appendix B: Sample Proposal
    3. Appendix C: Sample Résumé Boilerplates
    4. Appendix D: Brief Guide to International Business English
    5. Appendix E: Frequently Confused Words
    6. Appendix F: Frequently Misspelled Words
  15. Index

Product information

  • Title: Handbook For Writing Proposals, Second Edition, 2nd Edition
  • Author(s): Robert Hamper, L. Baugh
  • Release date: September 2010
  • Publisher(s): McGraw-Hill
  • ISBN: 9780071746496