To Propose or Not to Propose
When buying products and services, the U.S. Government usually issues a Solicitation, otherwise known as a “Request for Proposal” (RFP), which describes Government needs, lists the most important factors for consideration, states unique Government terms and conditions, and provides proposal response instructions. I can help you thoroughly analyze the RFP, decide if your product or service is a good fit, if you are capable of meeting the requirements, and provide some thoughts on your chances of winning an award.
Draft Solicitation Response
The Government will frequently issue a “Draft RFP”, seeking Industry comment on the technical specifications of the requirement, and various other terms and conditions. This is your chance to provide your input, and get your message across to Government buyers, and ultimately improve your chances of winning before the “Final” RFP is released. I can help you identify issues of concern, and help write your response so that it has maximum impact.
Should you decide to propose to a Government Solicitation, a pre-proposal meeting is highly recommended. Your proposal team will need specific guidance before beginning the writing process. I can help organize the format of your proposal, ensure your team understands each section of the RFP, and focuses on what is important to the Government. Having personally awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in Government contracts, I can provide unique and valuable insight into the Government evaluation and selection process.
Proposal Writing, Editing, Review
Government Solicitations are complex documents, and successfully proposing requires specialized expertise, and more importantly, inside knowledge of the selection process. It is essential to know what government evaluators are looking for, and how they score proposals. Understanding and complying with the Instructions (Section L), meeting the Technical Requirements (Section C), knowing how to incorporate the Evaluation Criteria throughout the document (Section M), and highlighting Past Performance are all areas which can benefit from expert guidance. I can review your proposal, providing comments or suggested edits, or even write significant portions of your proposal, depending on the specific expertise of your team.
Proposal Evaluation Phase
After you have submitted your proposal, the Government technical and procurement staff begin the evaluation. The Government may have questions about your proposal (called “clarifications”), or if it cannot make a contract award based on initial proposals, it may establish a “Competitive Range” generally consisting of two or more companies with whom it wants to “negotiate” (also called “discussions”). The purpose of negotiations is to allow companies to revise their proposals in response to specific evaluator feedback so that the Government may receive a better-quality proposal. This is a highly sensitive period, and expert guidance in responding to Government requests and competitive range negotiations is critical to success.