Withdrawal of "proposal writing" thread

Subject: Withdrawal of "proposal writing" thread
From: Felice Albala <felice_albala -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 06:19:44 -0700 (PDT)

Dick - thanks so much - this is the high-level
explanation I was hoping for. Therefore, I withdraw my
inquiry, leaving you All to go on to other threads.

I must say, the thought of *not* correcting errors in
an original RFP gives me the heebie-jeebies.

- Felice Albala

--- Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:
> Training?! Training!?! We don't need no steenkin'
> training!
> Proposal writing comes in at least three flavors:
> 1. Grant writing. You work for a non-profit,
> generally (or sell your services to a non-profit);
and you master the ins and outs of extracting money
from foundations and government agencies. I've never
done it and I can't say whether it requires formal
training or apprenticeship or neither. So no comment
on this one.
> 2. De novo sales proposals. These are generally
prepared by someone in the marketing department, with
guidance in the particulars of a specific sales
prospect from the sales rep covering the account. In
some industries they are actually put together by
engineers or the sales reps themselves, but based on a
template that someone in the marketing department
created in the first place. For this kind of writing
(the marketing part of it, especially), you have to
understand the industry, the customers' industries (to
a lesser extent), and the company's marketing strategy
and selling proposition. The sales proposal is
supposed to be persuasive rather than strictly
descriptive. That doesn't mean you have to lie; it
just means you have to explain to the recipient why
your company's product is the best solution for the
prospect's problem.
> 3. Responses to requests for proposal (RFPs),
requests for information (RFIs), and requests for
quotation (RFQs). You need discipline more than
you need training. The number one requirement is that
the response meets the deadline. The number two
requirement is that it meticulously follow
instructions regarding format and delivery method. The
number three requirement is that you NOT correct any
spelling or punctuation errors in the original request
(although you can feel free to use correct spelling
and grammar in your responses). These documents
require that you (a) know your company's products and
services inside and out; (b) can figure out a way to
answer Yes to pretty much any off-the-wall question
that comes your way without lying (a certain amount of

weasel-wording is expected in some industries, not in
others; an occasional No is okay in some situations,
not in others); (c) can achieve a level of sensitivity
about when it's better to assert that you _can_ do
something than to explain _how_ you would do it
(because you don't want to share that information at
this point).
> You also need to know how to extract timely
cooperation from SMEs when you hit a question you
can't answer yourself. All of this requires experience
but not necessarily training. The first few times
through the process, you spend a lot of time
consulting with the sales rep and maybe the marketing
manager. That's about the closest you need to come
to actual training.


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Re: proposal writing: From: Dick Margulis

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