Guerrilla Intelligence Dont Shoot Yourself in the Foot

A well-crafted proposal can be the clincher that seals the deal, but a poorly written proposal can easily erase inroads you've made with the client and send the award to your competitor. Poor proposals may be nonresponsive to clients' needs, unclear, riddled with errors, filled with boilerplate, or late. Therefore, the first rule of proposals is: Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Make sure your proposal is clear, responsive, and on time.

The words, "Send me a proposal" are music to many consultants' ears. Even though they might not enjoy writing proposals, most consultants jump at the chance because they believe that exciting, lucrative work might be right around the corner. The invitation to write a proposal is a milestone in the sales cycle—an opportunity to get one step closer to a client and a new project.

Writing a proposal is a high-cost undertaking. It diverts time and attention from your other clients and takes intensive effort. You should think of a proposal as the culminating product of the discovery sequence described in Chapter 15. Follow a systematic process to write proposals to ensure that they are top quality and will give you a high probability of obtaining the work.

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