RFPs regularly ask bidders to demonstrate understanding. The understanding section(s) is challenging to write. Your understanding sets the stage for the solution you propose and its substantiated benefits. A mediocre understanding reduces customer confidence in your ability to perform the work. Here are six common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Pitfall #1: Weak words We understand. We recognize. We believe. These are common ways bidders try to demonstrate understanding. But using these crutch words does nothing to build customer confidence. In fact, these common phrases weaken your understanding section. Look at the example below. The ABC Team understands the complexities and challenges associated with the contract. This sentence says nothing. The proposal would be much more convincing if the bidder described the referenced complexities and challenges based on customer knowledge, industry research, lessons learned, and the like. An insightful description of the as-is environment sets the stage to present … Continue reading Do you understand how to show you understand? (Part 1 of 2)
APMP Bid & Proposal Con New Orleans Welcome Reception Mon., June 12, 2017 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Kick off your conference experience on Monday, June 12 from 7:00–9:00 p.m. at the Welcome Reception sponsored by Lohfeld Consulting Group. Visit with old friends, meet new colleagues, and network the night away! Be sure to stop by our booth to check out our latest book—10 Steps to creating high-scoring proposals—and enter to win our Kindle Voyage grand prize (AppMaven’s ereader of choice)! Here’s to a great conference! We can’t wait to see you in New Orleans! Add our team’s presentations to your “must see” schedule! Proposal Manager: From Good to Great! Tues., June 13, 2017 | 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. | Lisa Pafe, CPP APMP Fellow; Liz Skarlatos We all know what a Proposal Manager is supposed to do—or do we? The role of Proposal Manager varies widely from company to … Continue reading Join our team at the 2017 APMP Bid & Proposal Con in New Orleans!
We’re excited to introduce our latest book to you—10 steps to creating high-scoring proposals: A modern perspective on proposal development and what really matters—now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Here’s an overview of our new book. (You can find out more about our other five books here.) Introduction Beth Wingate, President Bob Lohfeld developed the 10 steps to creating high-scoring proposals presentation that he and I expanded into this book to share our modern perspective on proposal management and what matters within the proposal process with our customers. We’re using these 10 steps to help our customers concentrate on what’s really important in proposal development and on best practices that may have fallen to the wayside because of different priorities within their organizations. In this book, Bob will walk you through the source selection decision-making process and what the government evaluators and the final decision maker look … Continue reading NEW Lohfeld book released – 10 steps to creating high-scoring proposals: A modern perspective on proposal development and what really matters
In part 1 of this series, I explained the difference between content editing (big picture re-writes) and copy editing (fine-tuned corrections), and lamented that we’re not all lucky enough to work in proposal shops with dedicated editors. Too often, proposal managers and project staff are asked to edit proposals when they aren’t expert editors. This is overwhelming because there are too many rules and nuances in grammar to expect a non-expert to find and fix them all. The good news is that evaluators aren’t typically grammar experts either. This means evaluators typically only care about errors that are glaringly obvious, look sloppy, or make writing hard to understand. Instead of trying to fix every mistake (impossible!), non-experts tasked with editing a proposal—presumably under an unrealistic timeline—should prioritize the following five editing concerns. 1. Implement consistency in bulleted lists Bullets make important text stand out, so errors in bulleted lists stand … Continue reading An introduction to editing for non-editors (Part 2) – copy editing