For many, the 14th of February marks a day of love, whether that’s with a relationship (cue the chocolates and flowers) or enjoying your singlehood with a fun night out and the sweet taste of freedom. Whatever your cause for celebrating, there’s likely to have been bumps along the way.
Sometimes when we get so involved in something, whether it’s a relationship, home renovation, or project at work, we may even start to hate it. But what about when you’ve worked so hard and so long at something but you get no love in return? As proposal and content professionals, this happens all too often. You spend hours, days, maybe even weeks pouring your heart and soul into a proposal that doesn’t win. So then what? You are left defeated and over-worked; it’s not a fun or rewarding feeling.
So what gives? How could this possibly happen? Well, there are a few common things that can occur in a proposal, despite best efforts to prevent. With so much going on – tight deadlines, even tighter resources, competing priorities – these things are not uncommon.
This leads me to the heart of the matter (see what I did there?) and this blog post: 10 Things Proposal Evaluators Hate About You.
You don’t demonstrate understanding of their needs
You don’t clearly identify your differentiators
You present a vague solution
You provide minimal answers
Your content is irrelevant
You fail to answer their questions
You bid on an opportunity that wasn’t qualified to begin with
You didn’t check it over for credibility killers – poor spelling, typos, etc.
You don’t provide a compelling (and relevant) value proposition
You make it tough to understand and use – big (superfluous) words, unclear statements, poor formatting, etc.
Inspired by one of my favorite movies from my high school days, this campy film revealed how despite attempts to despise each other, the main characters fall in love. The evaluators reading your proposal – your blood, sweat and tears put into prose – don’t mean to hate, but if you do everything you can to help them get what they need from your proposal it could be love at first sight. If you need a jump start – check out our 7 Deadly Sins of Proposal Writing guide.
Now just imagine what you can accomplish when you actually like what you do and don’t put in effort trying your best to be miserable?