This may upset the consultants and the writers of books on proposal writing ….. but the fact is that all you need to know about writing proposals is included in a simple phrase we learned in school: RTP. Read The Problem.
If you have a good sense of how your company can deliver a good solution and if you just answer the questions in the RFP (preferably in the same order as the RFP lists them), within the page limit allowed, then your proposals will be in the top 10% anyway. If your experience and solutions are pretty relevant to the content that the RFP asked for, then you'll probably be on the short list already. If you have to pay a consultant to explain your own experience to you, you're in the wrong business.
What’s just as important is to know when it is worth even bothering to write a proposal, instead of being an unexpected bonus for the selection official who can now show that there were competing offers to the one they selected. I would encourage people to spend their consultant money on help figuring out how to market the company's services so you know about it before the RFP comes out, and foreseeing the right kind of services before the market gets hot. If you can do those things, your proposal writing will be a breeze (assuming that you can write at all).
Should you want more information to understand how to write a government contract proposal OK …. here’s a few I can suggest:
- Shipley Associate's Proposal Guide for Business & Technical Professionals, 3rd Ed.
- How to Win Business from the Government - A Tactical Guide to Understanding the US Federal Information Technology Marketplace
- Proposal Writer
- NP Guides