DoD Contract Academy
Proposal Writing Strategy (Podcast Transcript)

Proposal Writing Strategy (Podcast Transcript)

government proposals proposal writing Sep 25, 2022

                         [01:14] Richard C. Howard: Hey, guys, Richard here with government sales momentum podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I'm going to do a series of podcasts that are specific to proposal writing, whether you're responding to an RFQ or an RFP and just cover a different theme or a different point during each episode. And I think that will help because we get a lot of questions about proposal writing and actually we do a lot of proposal writing for our clients. It is a specialty of ours and we have great proposal writers. We have former contracting officers from the government, acquisitions professionals, people that are used to red teaming these type of things and building off of that tangent. I think something to consider, which a lot of companies don't, is that a contracting officer is going to be reviewing this proposal. Now, understood. There's a lot that goes into writing a proposal. You have to meet all of the requirements. You're also doing a little bit of marketing in there for yourself. There are wind themes, there's a lot of different components, compliance matrixes. But what I want to just start simply with today is take the RFP or the RFQ. What I want you to do is read through that thoroughly and sections L and M specifically you might take a look at because you really want to zone in on what the technical requirements are and take a specific look at what the government is asking for because program managers.

                         [02:46] Richard C. Howard: Contracting officers, when they're building requirements that are going to be in the RFP in the Solicitation. There are going to be certain areas there where they're going to know by the response if the company really knows what they're doing. Really took a thorough check of what's required or not. I'm going to give you some examples here. Right? So what I do, we'll go through the entire RP and we're going to highlight the different areas where we see, hey, this is what as a company I'm going to be required to deliver to the government and we want to pay specific attention to any area that is going to be a cost driver or is a little bit out of the ordinary. So for instance, if you're reading through the Solicitation and maybe one of the requirements is you have to build a website for the government, take a look at what is required in that website. Are there certain cyber security requirements that the website has to meet? How about HIPAA if you're doing anything related to medical records or anything in that realm, those two things right there are going to drive quite a bit of effort on your part as a company but are also going to be a fiscal challenge, right? Because those things you can't just build a website and meet the cyber security the quite extensive by the way, cyber security requirements of the DOD or different government agencies.

                         So I'm going to highlight that and I'm going to make sure that we really address how we're going to do that when we're building that website and how we're going to do that in the proposal. So certain areas like that you really want to keep in on and that's going to show that not only have you read the proposal because a lot of companies may respond. Yeah. We'll build a website and not really get into those cyber security requirements. But you need to really hit hard on something like that or maybe you're reading through it and there is a section that basically says. Hey. You need to provide your service in different languages or you have to go back to the website and maybe the website needs to be able to use with people with handicaps or disabilities. That's going to drive certain features that are definitely cost drivers and effort drivers for your company. So you want to address all of those right away. So what you're telling the contracting officer is, hey, I've seen what you put here and we've really read it and we really understand the requirement versus just kind of glossing over it and not really paying attention to those details.

                         So that's what I wanted to hit on today is really go through, you want to find those challenge areas in the Solicitation and you want to find them before you start writing your proposal because that's going to dictate and it's going to help you save a lot of time in the end. When you really know where those focus areas are, you can pay attention certainly to things like, hey, is the government really specific about what type of contract they're going to have? Is it a firm fixed price, is it cost plus fixed fee? Or do they leave it open ended for you to kind of essentially suggest how you want them to contract with you? Those are all areas that you really want to put a lot of attention to detail in and spend some time on, because it's going to separate you from some of the other people putting those proposals together.

                         Now, certainly if you have any questions on proposals, you can feel free to reach out, go to our website, if you are interested in having us write a proposal for you, you could simply send us the solicitation. We do our pricing per solicitation. Every proposal is different. Some are short, some are really long. Even the short ones, sometimes they are extremely complex. Others are relatively simple to put together. We offer three levels of service when we're writing a proposal, so that's something to understand too. Maybe you just need help in a certain area, maybe with the framework or whether it's a matrix where we're going over and ensuring that you have met all the requirements. Maybe you just want us to red team it for you. We can do that. And then, of course, one of the big things with a proposal before we even talk about writing one is the Go no go decision. I'll do an episode, another episode on that, but that's another service that we perform. So we can actually go through all the requirements and then in the fire clauses, by the way, because sometimes the requirements, what's required of your company doesn't just pop out at you, and some of those things may disqualify you. So we want to make sure that if there are required set asides, or if there are security clearance requirements or anything else that could eliminate you from actually a past performance, anything that could eliminate you from being able to put in a proposal that would be competitive, we want to find that out during the Go no go process. So that's something else we can offer you. We're here. Please send us an email. Don't hesitate to reach out. And also, if you have any suggestions on future episodes, we're open to hearing about that as well, so great. Thank you for tuning in.

                         [07:49] Richard C. Howard: Will see you next week and hope you enjoyed this episode of Government Sales Momentum. If you did enjoy the episode, please subscribe to the podcast and leave a review. It's very much appreciated. If you're interested in selling products and services at the Department of Defense, I have something for you that you're not going to find anywhere else in the world. The Team and I created a program that takes everything you need to win defense contracts and put it into one place. Up until now, only large defense companies and a small amount of people in the know have had access to how products and services are really sold to the Department of Defense. I've taken all of that information and put it in a step-by-step training module that shows you how to consistently sell to the US. Military. If you join our membership, not only do you get the model, but you get weekly sessions with former DOD acquisitions officers for training, guidance to answer your questions, and a community of like minded business owners that want to partner on different opportunities to bid for subcontracting and teaming, or just to discuss general strategy on how to sell to the DOD. You have access to every course I've created, every coaching session I've ever recorded in every interview with an acquisition professional that I've ever conducted, and we cover topics that range from defense sales planning and competitor analysis to SBIR and STTR foreign military sales. The list goes on. Go to if you are interested and I would love to see you in the membership. Thanks.

You can also check out our episode on Marketing to the Federal Government where you will have an introduction on strategies that you can use to help increase your chances to gain contract with the Federal Government. 

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