Seven Tips for Great Government Proposals

Many government proposals are complete.  Many proposals are compliant.  However, few government proposals are complete, compliant, and persuasive.  Bob Lohfeld, the founder and president of the Lohfeld Consulting Group, has identified seven attributes of really good proposals.

 If you are a proposal manager, you should be designing processes, schedules, and timelines so that your proposal has these characteristics.  In other words, make these the outcomes of your proposal effort.

They may appear easy to accomplish, but they are not.  If you can achieve all seven, you may not win a government contract, but you will have a highly competitive proposal that will be taken seriously by reviewers.

Be compliant

Structure your proposal so that it conforms to every requirement of the Request for Proposals (RFP).  Develop a compliance matrix to help your proposal team and the reviewers identify all the RFP requirements and where they can be found in your proposal.

Be responsive

Completely answer all sections of the RFP, especially the instructions and the evaluation criteria.

Focus on the customer

Too many proposals are about the applicant.  Turn the proposal around and tell reviewers how you are going to help your customer achieve its mission.

Provide plenty of rich content

Proposal may be sales documents, but they should not be filled with marketing hype.  Instead, be concrete, specific, and explain what you intend to do, how you intend to do it, why you intend to do it, and the benefits to the custome

Make the proposal easy to evaluate

Use the principles of good informational design in your proposal.  Showcase important information in lists, tables, graphics, and call-out-boxes.  Do all the thinking for reviewers so they can glide quickly and effortlessly through your proposal.

Think visually

Good visuals increase understanding and promote persuasion.  Many reviewers will learn more from a good graphic than from several pages of text.  Convey your important points visually and tie them to the text with action captions.

Write well

Too many proposals are poorly written.  Use the active voice.  Keep your sentences and paragraphs short.  Be very clear, straightforward, and concrete.  Get to the point quickly.  And tell reviewers what is important and why.

If your proposal team can create proposals with these seven characteristics, win or lose you over time should greatly increase the chances your company will receive a government contract.

1 Comment

  1. Government Proposals
    March 4, 2013

    For winning any proposal Know what your organization is searching for and Find Out the Document Very carefully.

    Reply

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