BJ here. The ‘older and wiser’ of the two ‘Proposal Guys’. (And, to head things off here I’ll state up front that I’ll not hold Jon’s viridity against him.) I’ve been around proposals for a while now (20+ years). I’ve worked on a few (ok, 100’s) proposals and presented to a fair number (ok, 3000+) participants in proposal workshops. And I’ve presented at most of the related industry events over the years. APMP conferences, the Pragmatech User Forum, IIR, etc. And I suppose I’ve picked up a thing or two about proposals.
I suspect many of you reading this entry will know me. To those who do, “Yo, howdy how are ya, and nice to see you here. And as Jed Clampett might say, Thanks for dropping in.” To those whom I haven’t as yet had the pleasure of meeting, “Nice to meet you and I look forward to our getting acquainted.”
Those who know me will tell you that I have fairly strong opinions regarding proposals. I admit to being passionate about them. Jon is not short of opinions and can be rather passionate as well. As we’ve often said, “We agree on about 80% of our concepts, 10% we’re willing to debate and the other 10%, well, let’s just say that Jon is entitled to his opinion, no matter how wrong or off base it may be.” (This dynamic does make for some interesting conversations. It also makes for us occasionally being likened to ‘an old married couple’.)
I know I speak for Jon as well when I say I’m very excited about this site and to having the chance to meet with you here to discuss, “All things proposals.” I look forward to Jon and I being able to share our adventures in the world of proposals. This site is borne out of our having often said – typically after an incident that provided insights, seemed to us to be useful to advancing the standard of proposals or was just downright surreal – “Wouldn’t it be great if we could share this experience with our fellow proposal professionals?” Such conversations often took place in places such as the airport in Bangalore India, the rail station in Sydney Australia or the hotel lobby in Stuttgart Germany. (And those incidences that were deemed by us at the time to be extremely amusing might have been due to a bit of jet lag or sleep deprivation!)
Jon and I invite you to join us in our adventures. As Mark Twain might have said, “I reckon it will be fun and it sure ain’t going to be dull.”
Jon here. I’ll let BJ go first. “Age before beauty”, that kind of thing.
Like BJ, I’ve been around proposals for a fair while. I started (and here’s a confession) on the buyers’ side of the table, evaluating proposals. Actually, that’s how B.J. and I met – he was managing a proposal effort for which I was the customer. And it was love at first sight. Sorry, I mean, we struck it off immediately. So when I subsequently saw the light, and moved to work on the sales side of the fence, it was natural that we’d start to work together.
That was back in ’98. Since then, I’ve run one of the largest strategic proposal centres in Europe, and now lead a team of proposal management consultants and trainers. I spend lots of time on the road working with sales and proposal teams, having clocked up 231 nights in hotels or on planes last year – from Sydney to Stockholm to South Africa to Shanghai.
We’ll use this blog to chat about proposals, throwing in anecdotes from our travels as we go, and adding in an occasional dose of real-life. If you’ve heard our sessions at the most recent APMP conferences (including “Proposal Idol”, “The Fairytale Proposal” and “The Church of Proposal Excellence”), you’ll know that we bring a distinctive approach to our work; I trust that will come through in the blog.
We hope the site will prove of interest to anyone who’s lucky enough to work on proposals (and even to a few of those who work on proposals, but don’t think themselves ‘lucky’ to do so). We hope it will provide people with whom we work with a cool way of keeping in touch with our latest thinking. And we’d love it if it started to provoke discussion and debate: please do post your comments.
So, on with the show…!