This may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but some people write proposals for a living and enjoy it.

We don’t mean people who have to write proposals to sell their products and services as an obligatory part of their roles as business owners, salespeople, and entrepreneurs. We mean people who write proposals as their profession — it’s their primary role. They delight in this intricate, detail-oriented, thought-provoking work. They toil for businesses big and small, and all they do all day (and all night at times) is write proposals. Some write proposals that are a handful of pages, while others write proposals with hundreds of pages in multiple volumes. Some write them pretty much on their own, while others coordinate the efforts of anywhere from a couple of specialists to hundreds on a single deal. They propose to every kind of business and government entity you can imagine, because most publicly owned or regulated enterprises buy goods and services through proposals.

It may not matter to you personally, but proposal writing is a profession — a growing and increasingly important one. It’s an essential part of a broader group of business development professionals who plan and execute strategies for businesses to obtain new customers. Proposal writers have a professional organization — the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) — whose best practices are the foundation for this book. This group of more than 7,500 practitioners from around the world ...

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