Can A Better Proposal Process Guarantee You a Win?

Laura Ricci of 1Ricci has a proposal process that she says will give you wins. Honestly, it is more complicated than any process that I have ever used (and I’ve submitted and won multi-million dollar proposals).

Laura claims to have unlocked the magic behind winning proposals:

Well, the fact is that winning proposals isn’t magic at all.  But there is some fairy dust in every proposal that wins. The good news is that no one owns the fairy dust; anyone can use it to write a winning proposal. This manual uses some of that fairy dust, and if you use these tools, the next time you write a proposal, you’re likely to have people believing that you have found the fairy dust, too.

And she says her process works:

Since 1989, my win rate is 85 percent. The team I trained for Radian International enjoys a “hit” rate of over 85 percent. This team now leads “must win” proposal efforts for URS, one of the largest engineering firms in the world.

On her site, she has an entire interactive manual that leads you through the process. Every element of the process is detailed on her site. She even has a sample schedule showing the implementation of her process over a 19-day period (yo Laura, what’s with making us work on the weekends?)

Laura’s proposal process seems to require a lot of effort from a lot of people. I was impressed with it, but wondered how well it scaled for lower revenue proposals or small firms.

I recommend checking it out. If you develop proposals, there are at least a few tidbits you might want to employ. You may even decide to adopt Ricci’s process in your pursuits.

Can a proposal process guarantee you a win? I don’t know. I feel like there are many factors outside your control during both public and private procurement. But if you follow Laura’s process, you’ll probably end up putting more brain cells and effort into the proposal than your competitors. And that may be enough to give you the edge.

Here is the Real Point

This post is about influencing clients. We’ve talked a lot about websites recently. Laura’s site is not the sexiest website out there. But I come away thinking that she is legit. The standard in which I judge a proposal expert is not the sexiness of their website. Just like the standard people judge engineering and architecture firms is not the sexiness of their website.

Think about it. Laura would be completely insane to go into such excruciating detail about her process if it didn’t work. As a person told me once, “Specificity builds credibility.” On her website, Laura couldn’t be more specific about her proposal development approach. She tells it all. You walk away from her website thinking that she is an authority on the subject of proposals. Not because she told you, but because she showed you. She’s leveraging the weapon of influence known as authority.

So the real point is showing a client what you know and what you can do is much more effective than telling them. After looking at Laura’s proposal approach, I came away with the feeling that she believes that as well.

You can read more about Laura’s proposal process in her book, The Magic Of Winning Proposals.

Do you have a proposal process or approach that is magic? Let us know by adding a comment.


Speak Your Mind