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Proposal Recipes: For inspiration and acceleration

Inspiration and acceleration without trying to recycle narrative

Templates that recycle text or provide placeholders or form fields will reduce your win rate. The lost sales from a lower win rate far exceed the savings that using content templates or boilerplate might bring. Instead of recycling or automating proposal content, we focus on accelerating figuring out what your strategies should be and how you should position what you will write, and providing inspiration for what to write about. We'd rather make it easier to write a win rate lifting great proposal than make it easier to submit an ordinary win rate compromised proposal.

Introducing proposal recipes

See also:
Guidance for using recipes

We use recipes to achieve this instead of win rate destroying content templates and re-use libraries that make you less competitive. Recipes provide inspiration. They provide acceleration by helping people decide what to write about. They teach. They guide. They show staff how to incorporate a company's strategic planning goals into its proposals, something that most companies never achieve. Recipes can focus on bid strategies or they can focus on content.

What proposal recipes don't do is provide the writing. They give you everything you need to write except the narrative. They enable your proposal writers to quickly put things in the right context for winning. We use recipes that increase our win rate, and hope our competitors use content templates and re-use libraries.Writing is not what takes the most time on a proposal

The hard part about proposals is not writing them, it's figuring out what to write and how to write it. And that starts with figuring out what it will take to win.

Thinking about what to write and talking about it take far longer than the actual writing. Once you have figured out the ingredients, proposal writing is actually pretty straightforward. Recipes accelerate this.

Proposal recipes accelerate and inspire by listing potential ingredients and how they can be prepared. They include options, approaches, strategies, and considerations. But the proposal writer decides which apply and how to best articulate them. They make proposals go faster, while forcing the writers to optimize what they say around the evaluation criteria.


While we freely discuss our techniques, the recipes we've created are only accessible by PropLIBRARY Subscribers.


Recipes aren't just for content. Try a bid strategy library instead...

Since people spend FAR more time thinking about and discussing what to write than actually writing a proposal, the best way to accelerate things is not to accelerate the writing, it’s to accelerate the thinking.
The way to do this is with a bid strategy library and not with pre-written proposal fragments. A bid strategy library can map your strategic plans, value proposition, differentiators, and strengths to potential proposal positioning. It can enable writers to know what points to make and how to organize their thoughts to make them. It can get them past the pontificating and into the RFP/TOPR details. And a bid strategy library is easy to create and use, since it's basically creating bid strategy cheat sheets. A bid strategy library not only increases your volume, it increases your win rate. 


Recipes for doing proposals The Wrong Way

One of our most enjoyable topics is how to write proposals The Wrong Way. Sometimes the best practices don't apply to your circumstances. Sometimes all you want to do is survive a proposal. That's when harnessing the power of the dark side can come in handy. And we've created recipes for doing just that.


Taking proposal recipes a step further greatly improves your win rate

Add a little bit of planning and structure and recipes transform from a tool into an efficient way to dominate your competition. Recipes can accelerate Proposal Content Planning and help you win your proposals before you even start writing them. The ingredients from your recipes can be inserted into your Content Plans, accelerating their completion and enabling you to improve the guidance you provide to your proposal writers. 

Re-use libraries require more effort than they are worth

Creating proposal recipes is easier than organizing a re-use library and it's far, far easier to maintain them over time. All re-use libraries fall into disrepair over time as the value you get from them is less than the work it takes to maintain them. Most companies abandon their re-use libraries after a few years and then re-create them a few years later when people forget how hard it was to maintain. However, you can update a recipe library simply by identifying new questions. You don't have to keep narrative text libraries up to date at great expense. Here's some information that can help you create proposal recipes

Putting proposal recipes to work

You can use recipes to make sure your proposal writers are asking the right questions. Or considering the right approaches. Or ways to position those approaches. Here are 11 ways to customize your proposal recipes. It's like a recipe for making recipes!

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

Access to premium content items is limited to PropLIBRARY Subscribers

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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