In Proposal Writing Second is the Same as Last

In many ways, writing a federal proposal is like writing a college term paper. However, the similarities end with the results. In college, you may have been reasonably happy to accept a B. With federal proposals, only one company receives a grade and it's the winner. Everyone else flunks; second is the same as last.

"After careful consideration and evaluation, your proposal has been rated as technically unacceptable and will receive no further consideration." The foregoing is relayed to your company in the "you lost" letter or phone call. The results are lost money, a demoralized staff, and a bruised corporate ego. Companies live or die by the proposal-writing pen. Many companies ignore the fact that the pen should come out only after your sales staff has nurtured the opportunity through the sales process. A proposal should only be written to close a deal. The preparation and submission of a proposal is a deadly serious game that should only be played after you have sold the customer something.

Fedmarket's Proposal Recipe product, teaches your business how to write winners, how to reduce proposal costs, and how to integrate proposal writing and sales. The following mantras will be repeated over and over in the product (for some, possibly too often and for others, not enough):

  1. Sell it then write it.
  2. Write defensive proposals. Defensive proposals defend a sales position that you have already established with the customer.
  3. Winning proposals result from a highly-structured business process. The process begins in the selling of a solution to the customer. The next step is the development of a customer-centric outline, and the last step is the production of a clear and concise description of the solution.
  4. The writing process should begin early and should commence with the creation of the aforementioned outline.
  5. The proposal outline helps to produce clarity, simplicity, and consistency among writers.
  6. Write the proposal with the assumption that it won't be read. At best, your proposal may be skimmed.
  7. Keep it simple. Give the evaluators what they asked for and nothing more and no less.
  8. Sell them what they want and then sell them what they need.
  9. Sell risk aversion whenever possible.

Companies new to the federal market typically do not have a structured business process for federal sales and proposal writing. The Proposal Recipe is designed especially for this type of company. You will hit the ground running if you use our product. If your company has established processes, use the Proposal Recipe to improve your internal procedures. Integrate our templates and model text with your own. More established federal contractors report that Proposal Recipe compliments what they already have in place and, in incorporating the Proposal Recipe into their existing models, they end up with a much more streamlined business process.


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