I read a simple, yet great article today on WashingtonTechnology.com today that I really wanted to share and comment upon.
The article is “6 Reasons Your Proposals Fail” by Bob Lohfeld. Here is the link to the article itself http://washingtontechnology.com/Articles/2011/10/03/Insights-Lohfeld.aspx?s=wtdaily_181011&Page=1 – but to summarize, Mr. Lohfeld points out 6 simple rules for success.
4) Customer focused
5) Easy to evaluate
These seem so straightforward to many who have reviewed contractor proposals from a government chair, but from our experience, seem to be sometimes surprising to government contractors, large and small. In our opinion, the most important is compliance. All too often I’ll review a proposal that was built without a contractor even looking at Sections L and M of the solicitation. Or a contractor will overlook the FAR clause giving direction on how to build a commercial proposal. Shredding the solicitation to ensure compliance should be task 1 after the go/no-go decision is made to propose.
Second in line in my opinion would be easy to evaluate. Don’t mix up the sections, don’t provide weird numbering or organization that doesn’t flow with the requirements. Even if you hit the ball out of the park in responding to everything, if the evaluator has a hard time finding the answer, it won’t matter how good it is.
Last, on the list is Appearance. This is important, but as this article states, a pretty proposal doesn’t win on looks alone.
Note what is NOT on the list – up selling, overselling, extra brochures/handouts/CDs, bugging the CO, cutting down the competition, low-balling … and the list goes on. I think it is time for a Do-Not’s blog! Stay tuned…