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Winning Government Contract Proposals: The Ultimate 19-Point Checklist

Does developing a winning government contract proposal seem impossible? It doesn't have to if you follow these proven, effective principles.

winning government contract proposals

Jim McCarthyThis guest post is by Jim McCarthy, Principal Owner and Technical Director, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI), a federal contracting proposal and business development consulting firm. Since 1983, KSI has helped clients win over $130 billion in federal contracts. 

To some, managing a complex major proposal is a fearsome task. It doesn't need to be if you keep some foundational principles in mind. Next time you face a significant proposal challenge, fall back on these principles that winning contractors follow:

  1. Listening to your customer makes your proposal more responsive.
  2. Showing understanding of your customer's mission and challenges makes your proposal more relevant.
  3. Collaborating fully with your own team makes your proposal more integrated.
  4. Complying with the RFP makes your proposal more scoreable.
  5. Designing in advance the "look and feel" of each page makes your proposal more interesting.
  6. Promising to deliver real value to your customer makes your proposal more compelling.
  7. Offering prudent solutions to pressing problems makes your proposal more convincing.
  8. Backing up your claims with proofs makes your proposal more credible.
  9. Linking a benefit to every major feature makes your proposal more customer-focused.
  10. Reviewing your document often and thoroughly makes your proposal more accurate.
  11. Planning before writing makes your proposal more efficient.
  12. Entertaining new ideas and approaches makes your proposal more innovative.
  13. Putting forth a bold vision for the program's future makes your proposal more inspiring.
  14. Executing a workable plan and process makes your proposal more organized.
  15. Limiting your themes and major selling points to the "critical few" makes your proposal more targeted.
  16. Proposing a proven technical and management approach makes your proposal more authoritative.
  17. Using the key words and concepts from your customer's RFP makes your proposal more recognizable.
  18. Expecting proposal team members to respect deadlines and meet commitments makes your proposal more accountable.
  19. Writing to your customer's wants and needs makes your proposal more awardable.

Adhering to the above principles makes your proposal more professional. Don't make the job harder than it need be. Follow these simple, yet powerful principles. Then watch your win rate soar and your career along with it.

Also by Jim McCarthy:

Government Contractors: Top 10 Rules of Winning Proposals

The 11 Best Practices For Winning Government Contracts

29 Reasons Why Government Contract Proposals Fail

 Jim McCarthy from AOC Key Solutions can be reached via email or by calling 703-868-8263. For the latest government contracting news, watch his show, Government Contracting Weekly on Sunday mornings at 7:00 on WUSA-TV9 or online 24/7 at www.GovernmentContractingWeekly.com

photo credit: Erik Charlton via photopin cc

Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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