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6 Steps to a Strong Proposal Response

Updated: Feb 3

This article provides six straightforward strategies, from answering your clients' queries directly to demonstrating past successes to build a strong AEC proposal response. With these insights, you are positioned to convey your values uniquely, reinforcing your clients' confidence in your expertise.

6 steps to a strong proposal response

By not being direct and clear, we risk losing our client's confidence that we know what we're talking about and can do the work. So, I've put together six tips for building a strong proposal response.

1 - Begin by answering the client's questions. Being clear, direct, and upfront demonstrates that you understand their problem and can help them with the solution.

2 - Blend the client's requirements and the evaluation criteria to make sure you're responding to everything. This also helps ensure that you're compliant and answering every question.

3 - Define the what, who, when, where, how, and why so you know how to interview your SMEs and build strong resumes. Each response is important, but the WHY is the most vital. We must understand why we are doing something and not doing something else and convey that convincingly.

4 - There should only be one win theme. You'll come up with overarching themes when you're developing content. Focus on a certain win theme or benefit to strengthen the overall value proposition in your cover letter or executive summary.

5 - Load it up with proofs. Identifying where you've done the work before instills confidence in your client. Whether through a project or client reference, you can use photos and captions to demonstrate where you've done similar work. If you don't have the right project to tie back to, use your team to demonstrate that they've done similar work on other projects.

6 - Highlight your differentiators throughout the document. Identify win themes through bolding, callouts, or bold headings to show how you're meeting the client's goals or how you will do it uniquely. Every section should answer back to the client's questions and goals.

So that's it. These are the general strategies I follow when planning a response.

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