Remember your Focus
By Joshua Olive, Bid Designs' Lead Proposal Architect
Like taking a good picture, focus is critical to the success of your proposals. It’s important to remember that your proposal is written for and should be directed to the evaluators. It seems like such a common sense thing that there is no reason for talking about it, but it is very easy to lose focus on who you are talking to in a proposal when you have so many things you need/want to cover!
How can you identify where your focus is? Look for the name of your company or the word “We” in your proposal and see how many times it comes up. More specifically, look for areas where sentence after sentence starts with your company name or “We” – if you see that sort of thing extensively, that’s a good, quick-look barometer to evaluate the focus of your proposals.
While you are proposing what your company will do to meet your customer’s needs, and that certainly requires you to talk about what you’re bringing to the table, it is much more powerful if you can demonstrate to the evaluator that the solutions you are proposing are tailored specifically to meet their needs as your customer. Set up each primary topic area by demonstrating your understanding of their needs, then follow up with what you are proposing to meet their needs. Rather than just stipulating all the things you will do when you are awarded the contract, which is focused entirely on you/your company, your proposals will read much better and, likely, will be better received if the focus is on your customer.