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Four ways we can get started working together

Small projects that can lead to long term relationships

The normal way to work with a consultant is to agree on a scope, budget, and schedule for what needs to be done. This requires discussion, getting to know each other, some back-and-forth, and some risk. We can spend a lot of time talking about it and then face the risks in performance, or we can get right to work on something relevant but small that mitigates those risks.

The projects described below can jumpstart the process, with four ways we can work together for under $5,000. They cover most of what we typically do at the beginning of an engagement anyway. Each leaves you better off, with a deliverable that makes it worth the investment, even if that's all we do together. But each package also gives you a chance to test us in your environment and mitigate your risks before agreeing to larger or ongoing commitments.

Let's find out if we are a match

Which one to start off with depends on whether you’re thinking strategically, have a specific bid in mind, or have already started a proposal:

  1. A pipeline assessment to quantify what needs to be done to hit your numbers. Our spreadsheet model not only quantifies how many leads you need to hit your numbers, but also how much effort is required at each phase and what has the biggest impact on revenue. It clarifies goals, budgets, and how to allocate resources. Understanding it helps turn business development from an art into a science. It implements the recommendations we make here. But the best part is that everything we do together after this task can be compared to a set of expectations and tracked against a measurable return on investment.
  2. Preparing to win a proposal before the RFP is even released. In four sessions that can be conducted remotely and be a week or a month apart, we help you get into position to win. In each session we’ll challenge your company to be better prepared than it would be on its own. We'll work with you on your positioning, value proposition, and articulating you bid strategies and themes. It will help you implement our recommendations for preparing to win before the RFP is released. We’ll help you go from gathering data to articulating what you need to say to create a proposal that is built from the ground up around what it will take to win. It's a great way to see exactly what we can do to help you win the proposal before it even starts.
  3. Help getting your proposal off to the right start. Our MustWin Process includes a methodology for figuring out what to say and planning the content of your proposal before you start writing. We’ll guide your staff through this planning and help define what the proposal will be so that you aren’t surprised when you see the draft. We’ll help you think through what it will take to win in writing so that you can write a great proposal, whether or not you use us to help with the writing.
  4. A proposal review that shows the difference between a good proposal and a great proposal. We do reviews that are formal, detailed, and criteria based, as well as quick reviews just based on our experience. Either way, we focus on more than just personal opinions and can help you implement some of the recommendations we make here. We’ll show you what it means to assess a proposal against what it takes to win, and how to look at things from the customer’s perspective. What you learn from our review of this proposal can benefit all the proposals you produce in the future. It will also show you exactly what our standards are should we work on a proposal together in the future.

What comes after we get started with one of these projects?

Beyond these tasks we can figure out whether training, coaching, hands-on help, or something else will serve you best. We'd love to provide those services, but it's easier to start off with a small project and then follow-up something ongoing. We usually set larger ongoing projects up with an hourly rate and a not-to-exceed limit. Sometimes we quote a daily rate. Our preference is to create a limit for a quarter and then complete tasks under that limit. This makes it easy for you to call us with things you want us to take a look at, small pieces you want written, meetings you want us to participate in, etc.

Outsourcing vs Insourcing

We also have a small staff that you can outsource writing and production to. We can travel to your site when needed, but a few hours here or there delivered remotely may be all you need (and it's much less expensive).

We love to help companies develop their internal staff and organizations. We are happy to mentor new proposal groups until we obsolete ourselves and have done it for several customers. You can use less experienced staff without having to put an expensive expert on the payroll. Your staff can do most of the work and we can provide the expertise and quality assurance needed to maximize your win rate. 


During our initial project, we'll learn each other's capabilities and preferences. You can engage us to take the next step or take it on your own. But either way there will be a lot less risk and uncertainty. And you'll have more confidence in the ROI. Because that's really what we're talking about. From your perspective we're either an investment that will pay a happy return or a loss. Picking one of the above gives you a way to quickly find out before making a huge commitment.


It all starts with a conversation: 1-800-848-1563
Or click the concierge button and send us a message



Let's discuss your challenges with preparing proposals and winning new business...

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A subscription to PropLIBRARY unlocks hundreds of premium content items including recipes, forms, checklists, and more to make it easy to turn our recommendations into winning proposals. Subscribers can also use MustWin Now, our online proposal content planning tool.

More information about "Carl Dickson"

Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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