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The Proposal
how to charm your prospect into saying “yes”
Mommy, where does business come from?
• IRL there is not a parade of clients that will pay for,
want or need your help – y...
How business is “done”
• RFQ – request for qualifications
• RFI – request for information
• OR prospecting for client, gai...
What’s in a proposal?
• Varies from RFP to RFP, client to client
• Driven by needs and by the template your firm uses
• Mo...
For this class
• Utilize a generic template
• Includes multiple options for customization
• Will depend on your client nee...
Cover Sheet
• Make it pretty
• Should include your name, company name, contact information and date of
your proposal
This offer ends…
• Disclaimer of privacy (prepared for xyz client solely; not for sharing or
reproduction)
• Expiration da...
Executive Summary / SWOT
• This section can be covered in a paragraph or two and is used to clearly state
your understandi...
Reason for submission
• ID if you’re submitting the proposal in response to a meeting, discussion,
invitation to bid, beca...
Recommended Programs
• We will do THIS
• But we will not tell you HOW yet
• Don’t give away the farm
• They will try to ta...
Budget
• Spell out the specifics of the agreement
• Define the scope of what the budget covers (is that one round or two o...
Timeline
• Gantt charts rule
• If you didn’t have me for 220: Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of the te...
Exclusions, limitations or delimitations
• Delimitations are choices made by the pro which should be mentioned. They descr...
Evaluation
As you are not implementing yet…
• How might you evaluate the success of this proposal?
• Perhaps list some KPI...
The “we are amazing” section
• Finally!
• Your expertise
• Your experience
• Your capabilities
• Your awesomeness
• #humbl...
The “proof we are amazing section”
• Bios of team anticipated on this account
• Include subcontractors, employees, partner...
Initial recommendations
• A little more detail than the overview of services
• But not so detailed you are giving them the...
References
• You are obviously awesome now hook up your potential client with those
clients (no, not your family business ...
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The proposal - wtf goes in it

Prepared for CAP 423. How to build a response proposal.

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The proposal - wtf goes in it

  1. 1. The Proposal how to charm your prospect into saying “yes”
  2. 2. Mommy, where does business come from? • IRL there is not a parade of clients that will pay for, want or need your help – you gotta go find ‘em • Network • Random/Luck • Previous clients • “Word of Mouth” • Bid houses • Government procurement centers • RFP banks • http://www.prsa.org/Network/RFPExchange/#.VMl77 mjF8dc • https://www.bid4michigan.com/ • http://www.michigan.gov/micontractconnect/0,4541,7- 225-48676---,00.html • https://www.buy4michigan.com/bso/ • http://www.mitn.info/ • http://www.michiganbids.net/
  3. 3. How business is “done” • RFQ – request for qualifications • RFI – request for information • OR prospecting for client, gain referrals, business development • RFP – request for proposals (the bid request) • OR pitch a proposal (bid) • SOW – statement of work • OR proposal (bid) • Schedule 1 – statement of services simplified • Contract – collect those dollar bills
  4. 4. What’s in a proposal? • Varies from RFP to RFP, client to client • Driven by needs and by the template your firm uses • Most have the same skeleton roughly
  5. 5. For this class • Utilize a generic template • Includes multiple options for customization • Will depend on your client needs • No, yours should not really look so much like your neighbors • Use your brain • Think of the client needs • It’s not so much about you…only a little bit about you
  6. 6. Cover Sheet • Make it pretty • Should include your name, company name, contact information and date of your proposal
  7. 7. This offer ends… • Disclaimer of privacy (prepared for xyz client solely; not for sharing or reproduction) • Expiration date of the proposal, if applicable • in more formal proposals (government contracts, etc) with a longer review cycle, you may want to define that the proposal and fees are only good for a specific period of time, such as 90 days.
  8. 8. Executive Summary / SWOT • This section can be covered in a paragraph or two and is used to clearly state your understanding of the client’s problems/needs. In proposals, particularly formal proposals such as RFP responses, this is universally the one section that all reviewers will read. • Be succinct and not frilly • They know bullshit when they see it • Likewise, it’s evident when you haven’t done your research so don’t skimp
  9. 9. Reason for submission • ID if you’re submitting the proposal in response to a meeting, discussion, invitation to bid, because you ran into the owner at Meijer; whatever it is name it
  10. 10. Recommended Programs • We will do THIS • But we will not tell you HOW yet • Don’t give away the farm • They will try to take the farm • Good thing you are a smart farmer
  11. 11. Budget • Spell out the specifics of the agreement • Define the scope of what the budget covers (is that one round or two of logo revisions) • Put it all out here • Do not best case it • Do not worst case it • Put some work into this section and save a shitload of work later
  12. 12. Timeline • Gantt charts rule • If you didn’t have me for 220: Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of the terminal elements and summary elements of a project. • What are the stages of your proposal? • How long will it likely take? • How long will it actually take? • What will you do if you don’t meet your timeline? • What does the client need to do to help you meet those deadlines? • Not best, not worst, but middle case scenario – be honest and open • Consider your other projects and scope of work, holidays and stuff here • Faster usually = more $$
  13. 13. Exclusions, limitations or delimitations • Delimitations are choices made by the pro which should be mentioned. They describe the boundaries that you have set for the study. This is the place to explain what is NOT included • Limitations are influences that the pro cannot control. They are the shortcomings, conditions or influences that cannot be controlled by the pro that place restrictions on the method of work and conclusions of the work. Any limitations that might influence the results should be mentioned. • Examples include: • we draft press releases as part of your contract; however distribution of said releases will cost $75.00 per release with an additional $150/hour for follow up communication with media • we create a total of 6 logos with 2 rounds of revisions after that each revision cost will be at our hourly rate of $150/hour • we chose NOT to include the age group 70+ as they are less likely to own or use smartphones • the other things you are not doing…and why not (use logic and research)
  14. 14. Evaluation As you are not implementing yet… • How might you evaluate the success of this proposal? • Perhaps list some KPIs (key performance indicators for the field and their topical matter • Remember keep the farm deed close
  15. 15. The “we are amazing” section • Finally! • Your expertise • Your experience • Your capabilities • Your awesomeness • #humblebrag
  16. 16. The “proof we are amazing section” • Bios of team anticipated on this account • Include subcontractors, employees, partners • Case studies or examples of previous work • Quick and dirty: challenge, solution, results
  17. 17. Initial recommendations • A little more detail than the overview of services • But not so detailed you are giving them the info to implement without you • Guard the farm • Some pros provide details here and charge for this as a consultant • They must be really good • That is not “real life” • Maybe in NYC – everything is expensive there
  18. 18. References • You are obviously awesome now hook up your potential client with those clients (no, not your family business back home) that <3 you already • Let the current client sell you to the future client • Come ready to leave these contacts behind in the presentation packet or hard copy

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Prepared for CAP 423. How to build a response proposal.

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