20 Best Practices for AEC Proposals: Part 4

What better way to wrap up this series, than with a few tips for review and quality control? Hopefully I’m not alone, in that when it comes to the near-end of the proposal process — I want to throw my hands up in the air and say, just let it be done! But checking and double checking your work for simple mistakes can make or break a submittal. Here are a few tips to be successful in that final push:

16. Strip it of the fluff.

Once you have a draft pulled together, take some time to go back through and delete the unnecessary “fluff.”  You know – the pieces that are easy to accumulate when you are pulling content from various places.  Your content should be specific, and clear in answering the questions posed. In other words, cut the bullsh*t because you’re wasting the client’s time.

17. Have an outsider flip through for readability/clarity.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to stay on track is for someone who is not involved to do a quick review. (for example – another marketing coordinator in your group). Get their initial feedback on the proposal’s readibility and overall feel. You’ll be surprised at what a fresh pair of eyes will see, in comparison to the proposal team that is probably seeing it in their sleep.

18. Cross-check your pitch against proposal content.

Does your original pitch come through clear and consistent throughout the proposal? It should follow the format laid out in the cover letter or executive summary.  Make sure it is obvious in your content.

19. Cross-check your submittal against the RFP requirements.

Have you hit all of the requirements put forth in the RFP? If not, this is a very simple way to be disqualified. Make sure you get them all and get them correct (i.e. if it asks contract value for example projects, don’t list the construction cost simply because it is the most readily available number.)

20. Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation Check.

The obvious, right? It’s important that the final grammar/spell/punctuation check be one of the last steps before you Ctrl+P. This ensures you pick up any typos made during final content edits.  On the spelling front, I use “Dynamic Spelling” throughout to catch spelling errors as they are made (see below).

Dynamic Spelling

So if you follow these steps, your hit rate should near 100%. Ok, I’m kidding.  But hopefully it will bring you closer to that 50% RFP->win rate we all dream of.

Well folks – that’s it for the 20 Best Practices. Thanks for following along, and feel free to share any additional thoughts you may have in the comments section below!