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The Consultants Guide to Proposal Writing, 3rd Ed.

How to Satisfy Your Clients and Double Your Income

Herman Holtz

Publisher: Wiley, 1998 , 297 pages

ISBN: 0-471-24917-3

Keywords: Consulting


Toggle Synopsis

From America's foremost expert on consulting, a complete guide to developing winning proposals.

A winning proposal is more effective than just a statement of proposed consulting services. An effective, well-rafted proposal is a valuable marketing tool that can:

  • Win new clients
  • Generate new business from established ones
  • As much as double your income!
In this updated Third Edition of America's #1 consultant's guide to proposal writing, Herman Holtz — the "Consultant's Consultant" — tells you everything you need to know to research, design, write, present, and get the most out of your winning proposals. He tells you what clients are really looking for in proposals and how to give it to them. And he shows you how to:
  • Get the most out of the latest desktop publishing technology
  • Market yourself via the Web, e-mail, and other online vehicles
  • Find and tap key online research sources
  • Discover the keys to creativity
  • Avoid common errors in proposals
  • Safeguard your proposal against piracy
  • Solve the problem of page-limited proposals
  • Develop cost, technical, presentation, and competitor strategies
  • Sell to the government
  • Make the bid vs. no-bid analysis and decision

Table of Contents:

Toggle Table of Contents

  1. An Orientation in Proposals
    • Competitive versus noncompetitive marketing situations.
    • Why do clients want proposals?
    • How much do you have to give away?
    • The evolution of strategy.
    • Formal versus informal proposals.
    • A recommended proposal format.
    • Application of format to letter proposals.
    • The proposal is a unique sales opportunity.
  2. What It Takes to Write a Good Proposal
    • Is it really proposal writing?
    • Skills needed to write winning proposals
    • New influences
    • Developing the necessary skills
    • A master strategy
  3. The Development of Effective Strategies
    • The general anatomy of strategy
    • Devising strategies
    • The major strategies
    • Identifying a win strategy
    • Strategies in a minor key
    • How important are the minor strategies?
    • The opposite poles of strategies
    • Image strategy and capability brochures
    • Designing strategies from strength
  4. Some Basics of Sales and Marketing
    • Needs, wants, and the gentle art of persuasion
    • What is a need?
    • Good propsals help clients identify their needs
    • What business are you in?
    • Motivators
    • A basic marketing problem
  5. Gathering Market Intelligence
    • The basic sources of information
    • The client's RFP
    • Conversations with the client
    • Other client materials
    • Other readily available public information about the client
    • Your own experience, knowledge, and judgment, and your proposal library and files
    • Database management
    • Study/analysis of the requirement and special research
    • Special methods and sources
    • The online world: cyberspace
    • Relevant uses of Internet
    • Getting information for development of government proposals
  6. In the Beginning
    • When is the right time to market?
    • Bid/no-bid decision making
    • Preparations for proposal writing
    • Why use a checklist?
    • Graphic equivalent
    • Creating the functional flowchart
    • Which comes first, checklist or flowchart?
    • A common dilemma
    • Applied planning for letter proposals
  7. Program Design
    • Every proposal must be designed-based
    • Freshness and originality
    • Creativity
    • Value management (VM): methodology for creative thinking
    • What is value?
    • The idea of function
    • The significance of distinguishing secondary functions
    • The idea of utility
    • Cost implications of program design
    • Impact on proposal strategies
    • Proposal tactics
    • Designing to cost
    • The payoff question in VM
    • Selling the VM-analyzed design
    • A for instance
    • A closer look at the creative process
    • Other anaytical tools
    • An EPA problem
    • Definition of the problem
    • The problem is the solution
  8. Writing, Communication, and Persuasion
    • The role of writing
    • The responsibility for clear communication
    • Persuaviness in writing
    • Don't reinvent the wheel
    • What is "bad" writing?
    • A simple definition of bad writing
    • Writing is more than words
    • Focus on word choice
    • The matter of readability
    • The special problem of letter proposals
  9. Special Presentation Guides and Strategies
    • Sales (main) strategy versus presentation strategy
    • A few tips on writing style
    • Applying the ideas
    • The matter of headlines
    • Three basic kinds of presentation strategy
    • Dramatic, striking proposal copy
    • Another device: storyboarding
  10. Graphics
    • Why graphics are a must item in proposal writing
    • A few underlying principles about graphics
    • General types of graphics
  11. The Executive Summary (and Other Front Matter)
    • Front matter
    • What is an executive summary?
    • The uses of an executive summary
    • What to call en executive summary
    • A few relevant principles
    • A case history as an example
    • How long should an executive summary be?
    • How to write "tight" executive summaries
    • Executive summar in letter proposal
    • Other front matter
    • Letter of transmittal
    • The cost proposal
    • Appendixes
  12. Common Problems and Ideas for Solutions
    • Questions for and about small, new, inexperienced proposal writers
    • The (apparent) problems of smallness
    • A few ways to handle the smallness issue
    • Defining and redefining the problem
    • Questions of experience
    • How "professional" o you have to be?
    • On incorporating
    • How elaborate the proposal?
    • Production problems
    • Page-limited proposals
    • Packaging
  13. Miscellaneous Important Information for Proposal Writing
    • The new questionnaire
    • The survey results
    • A few other comments
    • Using other media in presentations
    • The proposal library
    • Federal government business opportunities
    • State and local governments
    • Recommended publications
    • A few relevant sources on Internet Web sites
    • Some suggested standard formats
    • Guidelines to cure bad writing and maximize credibility
    • Computer software


The Consultants Guide to Proposal Writing

by Roland Buresund last modified 2007-08-07 19:02

Rating: ****** (Decent)

A very satisfying book. The title is a bit off-topic, as it covers the whole consulting gambit.

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