Chapter 9

Developing Your Proposal


Summarizing your offer for executives

Showing that you understand the situation

Addressing your customer’s stated, unstated, and implied questions

Expressing value, not just price

Establishing your qualifications

Making an active closing statement

A proposal must meet standards, whether it’s a reactive proposal (that is, a response to a Request for Proposal, or RFP) or a proactive one. If you’re responding to an RFP, you have to deliver the parts requested, in the order requested, to the specifications requested. If you’re writing a proactive proposal, you need to either follow industry standards or set your own. It’s best to follow standards because, frankly, they work.

In this chapter, we take you through all the parts of reactive and proactive proposals to help you develop bid-winning documents.

tip Reactive and proactive proposals have some sections in common (the executive summary, pricing, and qualifications) and some that differ (how you describe your solution, your recommendations, and your call to action). You may not always follow them in the same order, and you may not even need all the sections for some opportunities, but you can never go wrong if you use them as a framework — a blueprint, so to speak — for all your written proposals.

Crafting the Executive Summary

At the beginning of every proposal is the executive ...

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