There were many people who joined the conversation about Whether Mistakes in Proposals Matter. Between this site and LinkedIn, there must have been 50 people who gave their two cents on the topic.
Many people agreed with me and completely understood my point. Some people said mistakes do matter (just not the kind of mistakes I was writing about). Other people disagreed saying mistakes are the kiss of death. And some consultants predictably weighed in to say mistakes are bad for your proposal and you should hire an outside person to edit (or write) them.
But one person had a comment that made my point so well, I just had to share it with the HEE readers…even though this person does think mistakes matter (but read what he says). This person is Tom Batty of BTAS, Inc..[quote]“Happy Friday, everybody! If you take the time to carefully read all the comments in this thread you will find MANY mistakes. But we are communicating effectively; the “quality” level is appropriate for the circumstances/situation.
I agree with much of what Matt and some others have been saying. If we want to improve the quality of our proposals, we should focus first on the areas that give us the highest return for our effort. For most of us the biggest opportunities for improvement are (and forever will be) the fundamentals: compliance, a responsive and innovative technical/functional solution, a sound management approach, the right people assigned to doing the work, and proven corporate capabilities/qualifications based on past performance. Then of course none of it matters if we haven’t provided a compelling answer to the basic question, “Why should the customer award this contract to us?” and that usually includes having the right price.
But as I said earlier, the total quality of the proposal is important, so mistakes CAN matter a lot. It should not be an afterthought to use good grammar and to spell things correctly. Attention to these elements should be part of the daily discipline for everybody who does this kind of work. To underscore Matt’s point…any effort at improving proposals should focus first on more important things. However, it is my experience that when I find an abundance of poor grammar and numerous spelling mistakes, the rest of the proposal also is poorly done.”[/quote]
Thank you for the comment, Tom.
If you liked this article, please subscribe below or on the right side of the homepage. If you want to give us your thoughts on this issue, please leave a comment below.
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you want a chance to win a FREE copy of Ford Harding’s Rainmaking.