This seminar will greatly improve participants' chances of winning a contract. Seminar attendees will learn firsthand about RFP preparation from the instructors' personal experience gathered over a quarter century.
Three key elements a winning proposal will demonstrate:
This four-day seminar is designed to prepare an entire team or department to prepare proposals that win contracts. It focuses on both the clear writing and the business aspects of proposal writing. This training will immediately give your group the direction and organization needed to tackle the work involved in responding to a large government or corporate RFP.
Each segment of the class will be introduced by the instructor and include hands-on exercises relating to a composite RFP that relates to the type the participants are expected to prepare. Information that is presented to the class will be reinforced through small group and individual exercises. Plan to participate!
Day 1 and Day 2
Writing documents that are concise, thorough, and well organized is the basis for a winning proposal. In this class, you will review the basics like sentence structure, correct punctuation, and effective paragraphing. You will also learn how to streamline your writing for clarity and conciseness. The best proposals depend on outstanding writing skills. After attending this class, you will be able to accomplish the following:
Writing an effective report can be overwhelming! Some of the challenges you face are writing for a diverse audience, succinctly summarizing the main points of your report, organizing a vast amount of information, and reaching a strong conclusion. This class will cover the following components:
Writing Technical Documents
This class will prepare you to write technical documents, with the emphasis placed on proposal writing. You will be given tips and techniques on how to start the writing process, how to organize materials by purpose and audience, and how to present complex information simply. This class will cover the following components:
Day 3 and Day 4
Writing Proposals that Win Contracts
This two-day class will greatly improve participants' chances of writing a proposal that wins a contract for their employer. Seminar attendees will learn firsthand about RFP preparation from the instructor’s personal experience that has been gathered over two decades. This class will cover the following components:
Cypress Media Group can also help those companies that don't need proposal writing training but could benefit from proposal consulting. We can work with your executives and proposal writing team to develop the proposal strategy you need to win a contract. An ideal time to engage our proposal consulting services is in advance of the release of a major request for proposals on which you plan to bid. We usually sign a non-disclosure agreement so your confidential and proprietary information is protected.
Our lead proposal consultant is Randall. P. Whatley. He has worked as a proposal manager on large government and corporate contracts for over 30 years. In addition, he has served as a proposal consultant to both major corporations and government agencies. Let his quarter century of practical, hands-on experience with proposal strategy and proposal writing benefit your team as you pursue major contracts.
The following are some of the proposal consulting services Cypress Media Group can offer your company:
"We called Randy to help us with proposal writing for our team. We had the benefit of having an active proposal in hand. Randy shifted our paradigm in how we were approaching the writing of the proposal from tactical to strategic, and the result was an incredibly high quality response. We invested well, because we took away not just the help for an isolated proposal, but the strategic vision to use that approach in future proposals. Randy is quick to respond to questions and has lots of resources at hand that proved helpful. I highly recommend Randy – he is engaged, intelligent, and dedicated."
- Elizabeth Wing, Vice President, Wing Inflatables
Answers provided by our proposal writing trainer, Randall P. Whatley
Q: How has proposal writing changed over the last ten years?
A: Proposal writers face different challenges now than they used to face.
Here are just three of the many situations we cover in our proposal writing training seminar.
Proposal writers have to write to readers with shorter attention spans and go to extra lengths to highlight the most important information in their proposals. Fewer subject matter experts seem to be on proposal review teams and more inexperienced people serve as substitutes or fill-ins on the teams. This requires more work to write to a variety of reader groups--from executives to technicians to general readers. Additionally, more proposals are being divided by section and assigned to specific review team members for analysis, often with no one reading the entire proposal. This challenges proposal writers to ensure that each section of their proposal stands on its own merits and fully explains its connection to other parts of the proposal.
Q: What advice do you have for a proposal team that includes numerous employees who write just the parts of the proposal on which they are a subject matter expert?
A: The proposal leader needs to craft an overall strategy with a win theme. The proposal leader needs to share these with all the other contributors so they can weave this theme into their writing. We recommend that three different people who are otherwise removed from the proposal writing process serve as proposal editors to ensure that the proposal is cohesive and has one voice.
Q: What differentiates your proposal writing training from that of your competitors?
A: We don't just speak in theory about this subject; rather we share practical application techniques with our participants on this topic. Look at our training client list. We had to respond to RFPs to win virtually all of the contracts with these companies and government agencies.
Some of our competitors are larger companies with impressive corporate credentials. However, their trainers, the people you will actually work with, are often soft skills trainers instead of proposal writing experts. Those trainers teach proposal writing out of the standard corporate workbook. By contrast, we spend our days actually writing proposals for our company and working with our clients on proposal writing and proposal strategy. Our experience ranges from writing proposals for contracts worth several thousand dollars to billions of dollars. We work with companies ranging from home-based businesses to multi-national corporations in diverse industries.
Q: How do I justify the cost of providing proposal writing training to our senior managers who will have to authorize the funding?
A: Point out how expensive it is already for your company to bid on contracts you lose because your proposal team doesn’t have the necessary training. Note that you will likely recoup the entire cost of the training with a fraction of the fees on the first contract you win because your proposals improved after the training.
Randall P. Whatley is a media veteran with diverse business experience. He is president of Cypress Media Group, an advertising, public relations, and training firm. He has extensive experience advising government officials, political candidates, public officials, and corporate executives.
Whatley teaches the practical, real-world skills that he has acquired and refined over three decades as an advertising and public relations practitioner. His presentation and media relations skills were honed as a lobbyist and political consultant on over 50 campaigns in five states. He has written two books, two syndicated newspaper columns, and many magazine and Internet articles. He has also hosted his own television and radio program and appeared often as a TV and radio program guest, including a CNN appearedance. Whatley has also produced TV and radio ads.