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Writing winning proposals. Why write proposals? Work in industry and business is done through proposals The process: ▫Requests for Proposals (RFPs) identify.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing winning proposals. Why write proposals? Work in industry and business is done through proposals The process: ▫Requests for Proposals (RFPs) identify."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing winning proposals

2 Why write proposals? Work in industry and business is done through proposals The process: ▫Requests for Proposals (RFPs) identify problems that organizations want solved ▫Other organizations submit proposals that describe the solution they can create to that problem ▫The original organization selects the proposal that seems to offer the best solution ▫The second organization wins the contract and creates the solution that it proposed

3 What makes a proposal good? Carefully and thoughtfully analyzed content Efficient and effective design of the proposal and the solution Persuasively sells the solution it proposes Demonstrates how its solution is better than other possible ones Shows the experience and talent of the team that will produce the solution

4 What kinds of proposals are there? Internal: written by a division within a company to persuade management to approve an idea or project Solicited: submitted in response to RFPs or specifications Unsolicited: individual or company has identified a problem and devised the solution that the proposal presents Sole-source contracts: organization intends to engage only one company to supply a product or service (one company is usually selected prior to publishing the RFP)

5 What is a proposal? “Primarily a sales pitch that seeks to define a client’s problem and/or opportunities and to sell the client on your company’s ability to provide solutions and strategies.” Robert Hamper and Sue Baugh, Handbook for Writing Proposals. It shows how you can provide help to solve the client’s problem

6 When to decline writing a proposal? Deadline is too soon for you to write a good proposal The RFP offers follow-up work to a larger project You are not equipped to produce the specifications listed, but your competitors are The contract is outside your field of expertise You have no real competitive edge over the competition You lack staff and resources to prepare a good proposal Your chances of winning the proposal are less than 50%

7 How are proposals evaluated? Does the proposal writer fully understand my needs and problems? Does the writer know how to solve my problem? Is the plan, strategy, or program suitable and appropriate to achieving my goal? Does the writer have the qualified personnel to complete the proposed project?

8 How are proposal evaluated? Has the writer’s organization completed similar projects in a timely and satisfactory way? What makes this writer’s organization superior to others who are also bidding? How attractive and professional looking is the proposal and its presentation?

9 Important aspect Not only show that you can solve the problem well, also show that you can solve it better than others proposing solutions Persuasion is a key element of a winning proposal You must sell your ideas, as well as your expertise and dependability Price is not the primary criterion for selection: professional competence and prior record are the deciding factors

10 Who is the audience for a proposal? The individual or group that will evaluate the proposals and award the project ▫To gain information about the evaluators, analyze carefully the RFP itself for information ▫Examine organizational materials that are available in the public domain, such as annual reports, newsletters, press releases, etc. for insight into the culture, financial stability, and management style ▫Talk with clients if possible (if permitted)

11 Analysing an RFP Determine what kind of proposal is requested Examine the primary criteria listed in order of importance Identify any secondary criteria Once you feel you thoroughly understand the requirements of the RFP, you can start planning your solution and the pitch you will use to sell it to readers

12 In-Class Exercise 6.1 Analyze an Assignment as an RFP Read Major Project 9.1 on page 268 in the textbook. Using the ideas outlined in the previous slides, analyse this RFP for information about the requirements of the assignment and the expectations of the reader.

13 Generic format of a proposal Problem statement/Background Methods/Procedures Qualifications/Resources Work schedule Budget

14 Questions a proposal must answer 1.What problem are you going to solve? ▫Answered in the problem statement 2.How are you going to solve the problem? ▫Answered in the problem statement and the methods section 3.What exactly will you provide for us? ▫Answered in the problem statement 4.Can you deliver what you promise? ▫Answered in the methods, qualifications, and work schedule sections

15 Questions a proposal must answer 5. What benefits can you offer? ▫Answered in the problem statement and the qualifications section 6. When will you complete the work? ▫Revealed in the work schedule 7. How much will it cost? ▫Revealed in the budget statement

16 In-Class Exercise Using the information on the previous slides, analyze the sample proposal distributed to your group. First, describe what the writer has done in each section to develop his or her ideas. Second, evaluate the effectiveness of each section of the proposal. Third, make notes on how the proposal might be revised to improve the answers to the questions posed by readers of a proposal.

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