Seven Tips for Working with Subject Matter Experts

Marketing and proposal writers are used to overcoming obstacles. Shifting deadlines, fluctuating workloads, snarky executives, and poorly written Requests for Proposals: they’re just part of the job. But as we found in our recent business writing survey, one challenge continually stands above the rest—working with subject matter experts. That’s why this week we’re exploring seven [...]
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PDFs Part Three: Five Time-Saving Tips for Proposals

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, many professional services firms are submitting more proposals and dedicating more time to their research, development, and customization. For instance, in the legal field, a recent NexisLexis® study found that 42 percent of firms have increased their proposal volume over the last 12 months; only 7 percent have decreased. While [...]
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PDFs Part Two: Four Ways to Streamline Proposal Reviews

The draft review and approval process can be stressful for any proposal writer. You just spent days crafting a clear, compliant document, and now various senior executives and subject matter experts—many with only a basic understanding of Microsoft Word formatting and review functions—are wading through it. Time is short and deadlines are closing in. What [...]
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PDFs Part One: Four Ways to Improve Electronic Proposals

Proposal professionals have long explored ways to optimize their hard copy submissions, from adjusting paper colors, tabs, and binding types to developing unique packaging materials. However, as many government and commercial organizations shift to electronic-only submission requirements, a new challenge has emerged: how to optimize a proposal file. That’s why this week we’re discussing four [...]
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10 Downtime Activities for Proposal Writers

Proposal writing is time-consuming work, often with 16-hour days, nonexistent weekends, and deadline-driven chaos. Add in the effects of staffing shortages and industry fluctuations, and many writers have only occasional—and brief—lulls in workload. With idle time a rarity on most marketing and proposal teams, it’s critical that writers make the most of it. That’s why [...]
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101 Bad Business Buzzwords (And Why to Avoid Them)

Today’s marketing and proposal materials are littered with important-sounding words that have no real value. Seamless, top-notch, world-class, laser-focused, and best of breed: we’ve all been guilty of using terms like these in place of meaningful descriptors. Unfortunately, buzzwords can seriously weaken your persuasive messaging and give an impression of insecurity. In fact, a 2010 [...]
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Nine Steps to More Effective Business Emails

Email communication is a key part of nearly every project, client relationship, and business development effort. In fact, according to a study by the Radicati Group, this year the average corporate employee will dedicate 28 percent of each workday to email, sending and receiving more than 115 messages. Unfortunately, all too often the email messages [...]
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The Ultimate Proposal Editing Checklist

Proposals are important. And with a growing focus on procurement transparency, a high quality proposal can mean the difference between a big win and an almost-was. So it’s no surprise that organizations are evolving, employing proposal specialists and adopting more mature capture and proposal practices. Unfortunately, many organizations are still missing a key step in [...]
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Three Steps Prospects Take to Evaluate Your Proposals

Ever heard of a Red Team review? If not, here’s the deal: It’s basically a mock proposal evaluation, done to predict how the customer will score your document. It happens after draft completion and before production/submission, complete with checklists, evaluation spreadsheets, and the participation of employees outside the core proposal team. Sounds beneficial, right? It [...]
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Four Quick and Easy Ways to Make Proposals More Persuasive

Reality check: Proposal evaluators don’t care about your company. Really. They’re not mean, they’re just busy, so they don’t want to comb through pages and pages of content about you: your company history, experience, qualities, and products/service offerings. Instead, they want a simple, straightforward explanation of how those things will affect them. They care about [...]
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