There is No Substitute for a Great Kick-Off Meeting!

The best way to begin a proposal is with a great kick-off meeting.  If the meeting goes well, you will inform, motivate, and focus the proposal team on the task ahead.  This applies to small and large businesses alike.

The best kick-off meetings involve people sitting face-to-face around a conference table.  For national efforts, however, a conference call may be cost-effective and efficient.  If you are a small business, the Proposal Manager should take the following steps to run a great kick-off meeting:

  • Create a complete agenda for distribution at the meeting.
  • Invite the entire proposal team and senior management.  They should support the team and provide advice.
  • Provide a comfortable setting.  If the meeting is long, provide refreshments and lunch.  Remember – 70 percent of any successful meeting involves making people comfortable!
  • Provide relevant materials, such as the RFP (Request for Proposals) and a proposal schedule.
  • Provide contact information about the proposal team.
  • Describe the proposal effort.
  • Explain why this effort is important.
  • Explain how the proposal team will work together.
  • Make assignments.
  • Create a tone of confidence and competence by providing needed resources and a proposal plan that takes you from the kick-off meeting to the delivery of the application.

The proposal team should leave the room confident in your ability to steer the proposal effort as the Proposal Manager.  They also need to believe that the proposal has a good chance of being funded.  If you can accomplish these goals, you are off to a great start!

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