Want to be a Better Proposal Professional?  Take (More) Naps!

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional? Take (More) Naps!

We proposal professionals take great pride in the number of consecutive hours we can work on a proposal. Sit down with proposal managers, and inevitably we start telling stories about our incredible physical feats of wakefulness. “I worked 24 straight hours on a proposal with only breaks for meals,” one person will say. Another will […]

How can Proposal Professionals Learn to Shift their Perspectives?

How can Proposal Professionals Learn to Shift their Perspectives?

Bookstores are full of business advice books about how to become more creative. Although the advice varies, it usually involves learning to shift your perspective so that you see your tasks and challenges in new ways. For proposal professionals, this often involves brainstorming meetings about win themes, proposal strategy, storyboarding, and the like. However, there […]

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional?  Learn to be a Great Listener

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional? Learn to be a Great Listener

I meet few people who claim to be below-average listeners, but in our most candid moments we probably all admit to ourselves that listening is a great skill that we probably could do better. Why? The answer is easy – listening has a great effect on our job performance. If you cannot listen, you cannot […]

Good Strategies for Winning Proposals in 2016

Good Strategies for Winning Proposals in 2016

We are all prognosticators, and advice has always been easy and cheap, indicating that often it of little value. Nonetheless, there are trends in Federal contracting that do point to several clear-cut winning proposal strategies in 2016. My advice, inexpensive as it is, comes from the January 2016 “Practitioner Perspectives” of Wolf Den Associates in […]

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 […]

Want to be a Happier Proposal Professional?  Be More Generous!

Want to be a Happier Proposal Professional? Be More Generous!

As businesspeople and proposal professionals, we are deluged with advice about how to be more efficient, more productive, more creative, and more successful at work. Much of this advice is useful, but when people are asked what they really want from their work, besides making a decent living, the #2 response is a simple one […]

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 […]

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 Much Do You Really Notice in Proposal Development?

How Much Do You Really Notice in Proposal Development?

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. Over the last few decades, scholars in applied behaviour psychology and economics such as Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahnemann, and […]