Successful Proposal Writing Process
Avoid Copying RFP Content:
The biggest mistake contractors make when proposal writing is to copy content from the government's Request for Proposal (RFP). This is typical when addressing the Scope of Work. For example, they will state, "We will." and then the proposal writer regurgitates exactly what was stated in the RFP. If you use this approach, the government's source selection team will have no clue regarding how you will perform the required tasks. The problem is that this type of bland response does not inspire confidence that you can actually do the work, nor does it differentiate your approach from any other competing bid.
Address the RFP Specifics:
Another common error that is problematic results from including unnecessary information that does not directly address any of the RFP specifics. Clear and concise should be your approach. Do not waste the evaluators' time requiring them to sift through content that, from the government's project perspective, is irrelevant. During your proposal writing, your primary goal is to focus on the information the Government is looking for, i.e., providing answers and solutions to issues that directly solve the Government's problem. Your RFP services
provider will also want to enhance that narrative with appropriate graphics, tables, charts, and call-outs.
Keep Your Content Focused:
If your proposal writing includes more information than necessary, causing the Government evaluator to start browsing through your content looking for relevant solutions, you will have missed a core opportunity to set your company apart from the other mundane proposals doing exactly the same thing. Keep your content focused on solving the problems specified in the RFP's scope of work along with critical aspects of the project identified in the evaluation criteria. State government and commercial RFPs most often do not inform you of their evaluation criteria, so you will need to make some assumptions based on the scope of work and statement of purpose.
Qualifications vs Technical Approach:
Be aware that some Government solicitations are more concerned with the experience and qualifications of the proposed contract team's key personnel than they are with your technical approach. They want to know exactly who it is that will be working on their project, what experience those people have, what their qualifications are, examples of projects similar in size and scope that they have work on, and what their roles were on those projects. This is especially true for consulting and engineering oriented contracts. When this is the situation, it is critical that your proposal writing services
demonstrate that the combination of skills of those key personnel on your contract team cannot be found within any other company.
When it comes to price, your proposal writing strategy will depend on whether the RFP identfies price or the technical proposal as more important. When price is more important, these two parts of the proposal are evaluated separately to ensure that those selected for the final round pass the "technically acceptable" criteria, followed by reviewing those with the lowest price. When "best value" is identified as the key criteria, your technical proposal must be on target and answer every specific requirement.
When the contract is high dollar and the work critical and complex, additional factors are brought to bear, especially your ability to provide a unique solution supported by proofs of your ability to perform, thereby mitigating the risk of selecting your company above all other competing bids. This is where The RFP Firm's government proposal writers and consultants
place an emphasis on your technical approach, methodology, management plan, past performance, certifications, and qualifications.
NOTICE: If you're facing either a deadline, don't have the expertise, or simply need help to review your Request For Proposal (RFP), contact us for a free consultation.
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