You have just written what you believe to be a well-crafted proposal section. All of the major points are covered. It is organized according to the RFP requirements and the paragraphs flow well. You do a “spellcheck” and then e-mail the completed write-up to your Proposal Manager. Job done! Well, not so fast.
Often, what is most important is what you neglected to say. Re-read each sentence and then ask, “So what?” Does the sentence communicate what the benefit is for the client?
For example, you write:
Our company is a Small Business located in Washington, DC.
So what? What does this mean to the customer? In answering this question, consider this:
Because our company is a Small Business, you will benefit from our flexibility and timely decision-making as your mission evolves. Located in Washington, DC, just 2 Metro stops from your office, we can quickly respond to emerging requirements.
Another example might be:
Our company is CMMI Level 3 certified.
As a certified CMMI Level 3 organization, we bring proven, well-defined, repeatable processes and a stringent approach to quality control—ensuring consistent, first-rate products throughout the life of the contract.
Make sure that every sentence is made applicable to the customer. If it isn’t, there is a high likelihood that the sentence is not necessary.
Many proposals are page limited; we streamline as much as we can. In the process, however, we often lose the chance to make a vital point. In doing the “So What?” test, we ensure that every word counts and offers meaning to the client. Benefits are not always obvious or implicit.
To discuss this and other proposal tips, contact Sheryl Birsky at 202-785-5811 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.