What is the Most Important Four-Letter Word in Good Proposal Development?

What is the Most Important Four-Letter Word in Good Proposal Development?

All proposal professionals are heavily dependent on good processes and step-by-step action plans to develop good proposals. Without them, our work would be very chaotic and unproductive. However, amidst these processes and plans, there is one four-letter word that stands out: done. According to a number of neuro-psychologists, when working, our brains electrical activity is […]

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 […]

The Past is Prologue:  How to Win With Past Performance

The Past is Prologue: How to Win With Past Performance

In a typical proposal to a federal agency, companies must demonstrate that they (1) have a sound technical solution or product that will address the challenges described in the Request for Proposal (RFP); and that they (2) have successful experience in previous contracts doing similar work. In other words, proposals are finely balanced between the […]

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 […]

Do More Asking and Less Telling in Proposal Development

Do More Asking and Less Telling in Proposal Development

In my previous blog, I began by pointing out that “we all would like to believe that we are extremely observant and highly rational, especially when it comes to proposal development. Alas, there is little evidence for this in proposal development…or any other of our endeavors.” I then briefly reviewed a new book that was […]

What Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Entrepreneurs?

What Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Entrepreneurs?

I admire entrepreneurs, although I certainly do not consider myself one. From my uncle who built a successful mattress and box spring factory in my hometown from scratch to today’s Silicon Valley titans, entrepreneurs seem to have certain traits in common regardless of their interests. In a recent article in the Huffington Post, Joe Van […]

Is Your Proposal Job Meaningful or Meaningless?

Is Your Proposal Job Meaningful or Meaningless?

Is your job as a proposal professional meaningful or meaningless?

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.

Can DoD Help Make You a Better Proposal Writer?

Can DoD Help Make You a Better Proposal Writer?

The BLUF clarity index test is short and easy to use. You may be surprised at the test results!