The Five Worst Mistakes You can Make as a Proposal Professional

The Five Worst Mistakes You can Make as a Proposal Professional

As proposal professionals, we worry about typos and grammatical errors in our proposals, compliance, the clarity of our win themes, and the like. However, these challenges pale in importance to the most important one – learning to get along with our colleagues and working productively in the workplace. When employees are polled, the most valuable […]

What Habits Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Highly Effective Marathoners?

What Habits Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Highly Effective Marathoners?

I love jogging, or to be more precise, trail jogging. I have been jogging for more than 30 years in the Washington, DC area, and for more than a decade I have limited my jogging to hilly, forested, dirt trails. I enjoy being in the woods with my dog because I love moving and in […]

Tis’ the Humorous Season:  My Ten Ironclad Rules for Writing a Truly Bad Proposal

Tis’ the Humorous Season: My Ten Ironclad Rules for Writing a Truly Bad Proposal

Because this is a relentlessly upbeat time of the year, I would like to pour a bucket of cold water onto anyone who thinks they have mastered the art and science of writing a good proposal. Bah, humbug, as Scrooge might have groused. And in the spirit of Scrooge, I have decided to provide ten […]

Want to Become a Better Proposal Professional?  Lace Up your Sneakers

Want to Become a Better Proposal Professional? Lace Up your Sneakers

On LinkedIn and other web sites, I see many articles about the traits and characteristics of successful proposal professionals. While I usually agree with their advice – who would not benefit from listening more and talking less? – most of them miss an important point. If you are not healthy and happy, you are unlikely […]

For a More Productive Life as a Proposal Professional, Daydream at Work More Often

For a More Productive Life as a Proposal Professional, Daydream at Work More Often

In 1990, a young researcher for Amnesty International was stuck on a train between London and Manchester, staring out of the window for hours as the other passengers busily read newspapers, books, and magazines and tried to work. No doubt many thought this individual was a dreamy, unproductive person with nothing better to do than […]

Can a New York Times Bestseller Help You Become a Better Proposal Professional?

Can a New York Times Bestseller Help You Become a Better Proposal Professional?

Can a New York Times bestseller help you become a better proposal professional? I am not talking about the latest novel from James Patterson or Stephen King but Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (2010). Over the holidays, I read this book and found many ideas in it that we proposal […]

Tis’ the Season:  Ten Ways to Appear Alert and Smart at Proposal Meetings

Tis’ the Season: Ten Ways to Appear Alert and Smart at Proposal Meetings

Most of us would like to believe that the meetings we lead as Proposal Managers are lively, engaging, brief, and inspiring. However, I seriously doubt if attendees hold the same high opinion of our meeting skills as we do. So, inspired by an article in the Huffington Post by Sarah Cooper on “10 Tricks to […]

Want to Improve Your Proposals?  Go Take a Walk!

Want to Improve Your Proposals? Go Take a Walk!

In the proposal field, we like to boast about how we pulled an all-nighter to finish a $100 million bid or the time we worked for 36 hours on a proposal minus a four-hour nap under our desks. We expect to spend long hours on proposals and are proud of our fortitude and ability to […]

How Do You Deal With Deadlines?

How Do You Deal With Deadlines?

Deadlines should be the proposal professional’s best allies, not their worst nightmares. Figure out how to meet deadlines, for your own sake and that of your colleagues.

Don’t Forget the Benefits in Your Proposal!

Don’t Forget the Benefits in Your Proposal!

Although everyone knows that benefits are extremely important in a proposal, I am constantly astonished at how many proposals are all features and few or no benefits. This is a serious omission because the lack of explicit benefits almost always means that the proposal will be unpersuasive to reviewers.