The Difference between a Compliant Proposal and a Winning Proposal

OK. Let’s Write! Your boss has tried hard to establish relationships without much luck. And he finally says let’s go for this one because we will perish if we don’t get a contract soon. Ideally, he saw something that could cause your company to stand out from the pack of proposals received by the government.

Writing a Complaint Proposal

A compliant proposal is one that meets every requirement in the RFP and provides evaluators with precisely what they asked for in the RFP. No frills, no extras, no sales puffery.

Your proposal must be compliant to win, but even compliant proposals often lose because they are not good proposals.

Writing a Good Proposal

A good proposal is a compliant proposal that provides all of the information requested in the RFP; namely:

  • A solid technical approach and management plan
  • Pertinent experience summaries
  • Responsive resumes
  • A good price

Good proposals sometimes win but not always.

Writing a Winning Proposal

Winning proposals can come out on top based on superior content.

  • The technical approach differentiates itself from the pack by innovation, creativity, great writing, etc.
  • A management approach that show how you will minimize the government’s risk.
  • Highly tailored and responsive resumes.
  • Highly tailored and pertinent experience summaries.
  • A competitive price.

A proposal may have one or more or all of the above content but still lose for any number of unpredictable reasons.

  • Someone doesn’t like you.
  • They wanted someone else.
  • They wanted the incumbent back to minimize risk even though their performance was a B.
  • The winner low balled the price and the government was so cheap that they let them get away with it.
  • Your benefactor switched jobs.
  • Or ………….

The government has all the cards and they win the game for many reasons.


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