No doubt many of our readers attended, or are at least aware of, the recent APMP Bid & Proposal Con 2017 held in New Orleans, LA.
Playing on the theme of Mardi Gras, a New Orleans tradition, and the acquiring of beads, at the Strategic Proposals booth we had a sign that read, “Give US Your Tips! We’ll give you our beads”. We also said, “Please fill out a form. We’ll post the best tips on our blog - The Proposal Guys (that would be this blog you’re reading at the moment lest you were confused for a moment. ;-). We also asked respondents whether they wished to not have their tip posted, to have is posted anonymously or with their first and last name. (The names of those who said we could post their names are included).
We received a fair number of tips. Some of these were pretty obvious:
- Plan, plan and then plan some more
- Start as early as possible
- Always ship on time
- Plan well and don’t procrastinate
- Answer the question (ATQ! As Jon and I would say.)
Some were a bit more specific:
- No matter the external pressure, always take reasonable time for your proposal planning
- Get to know the team with which you are working
- Ensure all team members understand their roles, accountability and what is expected of them. (Tiffany L.)
- Hire a graphic designer
- Check, double check and triple check the outline before you start writing
- Use a second table of contents for managing writing assignments and project tracking (Alan O’Neal, Principal Proposal Manager)
- Make sure the structure and content compels the client to buy what is being proposed
Some were a bit concerning:
- Don’t be afraid to ‘pull the plug’ (Mike R. Is that in reference to the plug on the proposal effort, the printer or a person, Mike?)
One of my favorite tips of those submitted:
- Know when to let the team know, “The ‘Good Idea Fairy’ has left the building.” (Initials C.R.)
Most flatteringly, one tip was, “Hire B.J. as your coach” (Sara Waller, a proposal professional whom I’m currently mentoring ;-)
And finally, taking a page right out of our book one respondent (R.T.) suggests, “Be passionate about proposals.”
Thanks to all of you who submitted tips and we hope you enjoyed the beads.