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Powerful Proposals - How to Give Your Business the Winning Edge

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Table of Contents




Chapter 1The Power of the A+ Proposal

The Proposal: The Make or Break Move

How to Put the ""Power"" into Your Proposals

Be Compliant: Powerful Proposals Give Customers What They Request

Be Responsive: Powerful Proposals Address Customers' Needs, Key Issues,

Values, and Goals

What Proposals Reveal About You

Six Key Elements of High-Quality Proposals

Evaluating Proposals: The Best and the Worst

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 2A Simple Notion: A Proposal Is a Sales Tool

The DNA of Proposals: How Organizations Buy Products and Services




Reader Intent

How Buying Decisions Are Made

They Won't Buy, Unless You Sell

Powerful Proposals: Simple, Clear, and Precise

Four Compelling Questions Every Proposal Must Answer

Question 1: Why Us?

Question 2: Why Not Them?

Question 3: So What?

Question 4: How So?

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 3Getting Your Message Across: Technical Proposals for Every Reader

The Competitive Advantage: Reader-Friendly Proposals That Sell

Compete by Communicating

Know Your Audience

Overcome Differences

Designing the Proposal

Two Messages, One Proposal

Double Exposure Techniques

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 4Sell the Benefits: Customer-Oriented Proposals

Why Steak Without Sizzle Is Not Enough

Customer-Oriented Proposals

Who Are the Buyers?

What Buyers Look For

The ""Me"" Proposal

Reading the Customer's Mind: The ""You"" Proposal

Five Essential Components of a Customer-Focused Proposal

Uncover and Respond to the Customer's Underlying Need

Address All of the Requirements and Requests

Mirror the RFP

Emphasize Benefits, Especially Intangible Ones

Develop an Effective Proposal Strategy

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 5What It Takes to Win: Credibility, Acceptability and Preference

Establishing Credibility

The Right Experience

The Right Solution

The Right Technology

The Right Team

Establishing Acceptability

Negotiable Terms

Competitive Price

Conducive Political Environment

Creating Preference

The Right Relationships

A Compelling Story

Winning Behaviors

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 6Winning Executive Summaries: Your Most Powerful Selling Tool

The State of the Art: High-Tech Summaries

A Powerful Executive Summary: Focus on the Benefits

Preparing to Create an Executive Summary

Develop Your Win Strategy

Build a Compelling Story Line

The GIFBP Matrix

How to Design an Executive Summary with Impact

Brochure Format: Your Best Sales Tool

Issues-Driven Executive Summary

Ad-Style Executive Summary

Four-Page Executive Summary

Product-Emulation Executive Summary

Customer-Empathy Executive Summary

Living Executive Summary: An Evolving Sales Tool

The Five Steps

Executive Summary Quality Check

Chapter 7: Timing Is Everything: Positioning to Win

How to Position Your Company to Be a Key Player

Begin Early: Build Relationships, Develop Influence, and Win the Customer

Creating a Company-Wide ""Can-Do"" Attitude

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 8: Proposal Management: The Art of Containing Chaos

Frontloading the Effort: Plan and Design

Freezing the Offer

Planning for and Conducting a Superior Kickoff Meeting

Solidify the Team

Lay the Foundation: Proposal Planning

Establish Credibility: The Process

A Failed Kick-Off: Danger Ahead

Revising for Quality: The Final Touches

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 9Getting It Written, Getting It Right: Guide to Creating Compelling Proposals

The Seven-Step Section Development Process

Step 1: Determine the Content

Step 2: Organize the Content

Step 3: Develop the Themes

Step 4. Develop the Visuals

Step 5: Develop the Proofs

Step 6: Create a Mock-Up

Step 7: Draft the Section

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 10The Red Team Review Process: Making Sure the Power Is in the Proposal

The Role of Reviews in the Proposal Process

Themes and Visuals: The Contributions of the Pink Team

Pink Team Objectives

Pink Team Process

Applying the Pink Team Review to the Final Draft

Does It Have What It Takes: The Red Team Review

Who Is Needed: Selecting Team Members

Red Team Objectives

Red Team Process

Long-Term Benefits

Challenges for Readers

Chapter 11Learning Forward: Win or Lose Protocols for Continuous Improvement

Administering the Protocols

Customer Interview

Internal Review

Lessons Learned

Improvement/Implementation Plan

Challenges for Readers

Appendix AThe Ultimate Weapon: Maximize Proposal Effectiveness with Techies Who Can Sell

Appendix BModels of Issue-Driven and Ad-Style Executive Summaries


About the Authors"

About the Author

David G. Pugh and Terry R. Bacon (Durango, CO) are coauthors of Winning Behavior (0-8144-7163-3) and The Behavioral Advantage (0-8144-7225-7), and cofounders of the Lore Institute, a professional development and corporate education company. Bacon is also the author of Selling to Major Accounts (0-8144-0462-6).


Technical Communication: "Powerful Proposals is the ideal book for people involved in business and academia..Whether you're writing a paper or writing a proposal, Powerful Proposals can give you that winning edge over others."

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