It may have been a little slow over the last year, but as the economy picks up, more and more companies will be issuing RFP’s to buy new services or replace existing service providers.

For many companies, writing RFP bid responses is a tough job. You may not have the resources or the skills to meet the demand. If many opportunities come at the same time, they can’t respond to all of them.

Now is the time to prepare yourself for success, with these tips:Instead of waiting, start building your capacity and in particular, build your strategic approach so when you respond to bids, you have all the tools you need in your toolbox to write winning and persuasive proposals.

Start by assembling and assessing your existing material. Take a look at it and be critical. Change it, get the fluff out.

Run a strategy session with key players in your company. Don’t limit it to your senior staff, include some front-line staff who deliver the services directly.  You would be surprised how valuable they can be. have it facilitated by someone without a vested interest.

Do a SWOT (Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis strictly with proposal response in mind.

Figure out your benefits to clients (your USP or Unique Selling Points) and write a paragraph on each one.

Assemble a list of sample clients/projects that clearly illustrate your abilities and successes.

Get resume’s from HR and look through them for skills, past experience and potential company relatioships that you can use both in pre-bid preparation and as part of your bid team or proposed resourcing.

Take your fluffy corporate promotional material and re-write it to include details, examples and solid evidence that a potential customer can use to help select you in your next bid.

Do some analysis of potenital customers who you expect to issue RFP’s in the future. Learn about them so you will be ready. What are their issues, hot buttons and interests? Use them to your advantage and figure out how you can address them.

Assess the marketplace – who are your competition, what are they doing, what technology and techniques do they use, what have they won lately and what advantages do you have over them.

If some of this sounds familiar to you, it should, some of it is basic competitive research any company should be doing. The difference is to do it with your future proposal writing in mind, rather than for your company’s strategic plan, product/service launch, etc.

Our Book "Win More Business - Write Better Proposals". is now available at Amazon in many countries, including the USA , Canada, UK, Japan, Germany and France. You can also order it directly from the author on this website