The Early Bird Catches the Worm

What’s one of the greatest advantages you can give your enterprise when competing for a highly sought-after new client or customer, or a key piece of new business? It’s simple. And anyone can do it. It’s starting your pre-pursuit or pre-proposal research earlier – way earlier – than any of the competition is likely to. […]

Ignore Your Competition At Your Peril

One of the most foolhardy attitudes I’ve heard expressed by teams preparing for an important bid, or to make any form of a run for a deeply desired new piece of business, is: “We really don’t want to focus on and get distracted by what our competitors are doing. We need to just concentrate on […]

Small Fish, Big Pond . . . or Big Fish, Small Pond? Which Is Smarter?

If your Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) is experiencing high rates of failure – or a general low “win rate” – with your sales proposals and other new-business initiatives, you need to consider that the root cause may be more than just the quality of your proposal or the specific offer to the target. It […]

Don’t Be Presumptuous in Your Proposals

Golden Rule of sales proposals: Never insult your prospect’s intelligence. One of the best ways to do just that? Assume they don’t know the psychological game you’re playing when you go for the over-presumptive close . . . which then becomes the presumptuous close. We all know the classic example of the presumptive close: “So […]

Are Your Proposals A Patchwork Quilt of Writing Styles?

If your production is on the larger side – perhaps a response to an Expression of Interest (EOI) or a Request for Proposal (RFP) – you might find yourself apportioning out the various sections of the submission to different contributors from within your enterprise. These different writers will have differing writing styles. Sometimes very different. […]

A Primer on Proposal Strategy

If you’ve been reading my (Jordan’s) other posts on this blog, you’ll see the continually repeated theme of the importance of research, planning and proper preparation in the production of any proposal or submission. In my corporate work, I refer to the guiding document, the blueprint that informs your approach, your themes, and your offer, […]

The ‘I’s DON’T Have It

I once performed an audit on a cross-section of a household-name, B2B corporation’s past Expression-of-Interest (EOI) and Request-for-Proposal (RFP) responses (my standard practice when taking on a new client looking for continuous improvement rather than one-off production assistance). The opening paragraph of one submission’s Executive Summary included “we”, “us” or (“company name”) no less than […]

Avoiding the ‘What Can We Say’ Trap

By my observations (across a span of more than two decades in the field), a vast majority of organisations start their proposal-producing process with the submission version of ‘writer’s block’. Those who are appointed “writers” (either of the entire submission, or of the various component sections if it’s the response to a complex Request for […]

The Critical Difference Between Self-Confidence and Arrogance

Self-confidence and arrogance are two characteristics that are all too often confused in a business setting – and even more so, in the context of new-business pursuits and the associated proposals put forward to prospective clientele. On that note, I’ve come across an eight-minute YouTube video that couldn’t have expressed my own sentiments better. On […]

Quick Tips to Rejuvenate Your Capability Statement

In a formal submission, your Capability Statement (or other such document) must, as a minimum, serve two purposes i.e.: (1)  Demonstrate your degree of experience, competence, and resource-readiness to provide the service or to deliver the product your enterprise is bidding to deliver, and (2)  Provide the bid’s evaluators with a feel for the health, […]