Re: Help! Suddenly I'm a new RPF/proposal writer

Subject: Re: Help! Suddenly I'm a new RPF/proposal writer
From: Kevin Christy <kevinchristy -at- socal -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 20:15:13 -0700

On Sunday 09 June 2002 06:24 pm, Dick Margulis wrote:
> Dick,
> You want advice? I got advice right here. Don't make travel plans. Don't
> buy theatre tickets. Do buy a REALLY big coffee mug. Keep a clean shirt and
> a toothbrush in your desk. You've got some all-nighters in your future.

I'll give you another piece of advice: respect (and pay) for proposal writing
is highly uneven; I've seen recent job openings for proposal writers in
Southern Cal that paid $36-$42K/year, and several openings at $10-$15/hour.
Add that to the often copious amount of overtime required, and it makes
finding a worthwhile position tougher than for the typical techwriter job.

Having said that, I do enjoy proposal writing, and I've done a lot of it.
Here's some quick pointers:

* The RFP is the beginning, not the end, of the story. If the RFP is all the
salesperson has to go on, they haven't done their job. Somebody, somewhere at
the customer's business, has a better idea of what they are looking for...
inside clues as to what is really important to them. What they've bought in
the past. What they really are looking for in a company. I brief interview
with the decision maker, or as close to the decision maker as possible, can
make all the difference.

* Tell your story right up front, and keep telling it throughout the
proposal. Here's what I mean: if you've done your homework and you know
what's important to them, then you tell them that you know it and that your
product is the best way to get what they are looking for. Tell 'em, tell 'em
again, and tell 'em what you told 'em.

* Keep it simple and straightforward. A proposal is a sales document, not a
technical manual or a white paper. The purpose of a proposal is to get the
customer to make an affirmative decision. Use an executive summary, and move
most of the details into an appendix. Show them where to find it if they want
to parse the numbers, but there's no need to go into great detail in a

Good luck!


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Re: Help! Suddenly I'm a new RPF/proposal writer: From: Dick Margulis

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