Chapter 1

Introducing Bids and Proposals


Getting the intel on bids and proposals

Gearing up for your proposal

Developing a professional approach

This book is about writing business bids and proposals. Why bids and proposals, you ask? Aren’t they the same thing?

Many proposal professionals would say so. Others favor one term over the other, especially when used to modify another term. For example, in the United Kingdom, they may say bid manager and tender; in the United States, we say proposal manager and Request for Proposal (RFP) response — and we mean pretty much the same thing.

Some people think of bids as something we’d call a quote — a line or two about the offer and a price — something you can write on the back of a napkin. Some may even call that a proposal. The more people you talk to, the more confused you can get.

As we use the terms, bids and proposals are more formal, more thorough, more informative, more persuasive, more descriptive, and more professional than quotes. They’re more about communication than selling, more about value than price, and more about relationships than a single deal. Throughout this book, we use them interchangeably because it’s how proposal professionals talk: A bid is a proposal; a bidder is someone who submits a proposal or bid (and we’d never use the word proposer).

In this chapter, we introduce you to the world of bid and proposal management — what proposals do, how they work, and how you write one — drawing from the ...

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