Proposal Writing: Sell First, Write Second

Learning to prepare outstanding, first-rate proposals is a task that is difficult at best and often impossible. Many contractors fail to ever master the assignment. Corporate management must be fully committed to the task and must also devote substantial time and resources to developing and keeping a good writing team. In order to start the process, we recommend doing the following:

  1. Sell the opportunity first and then write a proposal. Don't write proposals for projects that you haven't sold.
  2. In order to put your best foot forward, present customer-centric proposals based on solutions you have proposed to the federal end user.
  3. Make sales and proposal writing an integrated and structured business process. Start the process early and have the proposal started when the actual Request for Proposal (RFP) is published.
  4. Propose what the customer wants first and then sell them what they need.

Federal proposal evaluators look for simplicity and reader-friendly proposals; they want just the facts supported with evidence. Forget the sales fluff. In order to prepare a thorough, well-organized proposal, your staff must start with an outline. The outline provides the structure needed for your staff to prepare a clear and concise proposal.

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