How to Get it Right: Tips for a Winning Proposal
Just avoiding mistakes like skimming through the Request for Proposal (RFP) document or skipping proposal readiness reviews isn’t enough to create a winning proposal. A winning proposal is the result of the willingness to adapt, a keen sense of audience and attention to detail. It is the result of true team work.
Give Them What They Want
A government agency with a contract out for bid knows exactly what they need and what they want. Technical experts wrote the RFP project requirements. The contracting office developed the budget requirements and contract terms. Address those requirements exactly how the agency says to do so.
If they want a “fixed price contract,” give them a proposal that has one bottom line figure. If they require ITAR-registration, make sure your company is or can be appropriately registered with the Department of State by the time of contract award.
Contact McGrady & Associates, LLC for help developing award winning proposals.
If you do have an alternate solution for the project out for bid, first submit an RFP-compliant proposal. Submit a separate proposal with your variant approach to meeting the project objective.
If you have a contract with a government agency and are hoping to renew the contract through a new full and open competition, be willing to change how you have done things in the past to be compliant with the new RFP. The agency’s requirements and internal systems are likely to have evolved, so your response needs to evolve as well.
Little Things Make a Big Difference
Part of giving the contracting agency what they want means following all instructions in the RFP to the letter. The RFP provides guidelines for document pagination, font type and size, margins, etc. Follow those guidelines exactly!
Proposal reviewers have hundreds of pages to read. Formatting errors give them a quick way to downsize their load. Successful proposals must first be read, so make sure your proposal isn’t disregarded because of a technicality.
Timing is Everything
Refusing late proposal submissions is another way for a contracting agency to manage its proposal evaluation workload. Make sure your proposal is where it needs to be by the deadline. Because auto shut-off functions make it increasingly easy for agencies to reject electronic proposal submissions, send your digital proposal at least 24 hours in advance and request a return receipt.
If hard copies are required, make sure you deliver them. Sending documents via USPS, FedEx or UPS may save you the cost of an airline ticket and/or courier service, but trusting their “we’ll get it there” guarantees could cost you a multi-million dollar contract. Don’t risk it! Deliver the required documents in person or via a trusted business contact in the location of the contracting agency’s office.
One way to ensure that you’ll “get it right” is to hire McGrady & Associates, LLC for your proposal preparation. The professional writers at McGrady & Associates, LLC have developed hundreds of successful proposals. Contact us to get started developing your winning proposal.