“If your marketing proposal or presentation can’t answer that question for your clients then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and do a rewrite! Don’t be vague. Let the clients know exactly why your team is uniquely qualified for the project at hand,” explained Nicole Apel, Marketing Director at O’Day Consultants, as she conducted a course on SOQ/Proposal Development at the SMPS San Diego Marketing Boot Camp Session II last week. Nicole discussed how to develop proposal outlines, schedules, and storyboards for winning proposals, providing examples of proposals which are effective as well as some which could have been better.
Leading off the half-day Boot Camp was Tom Huffman, Biology Services Division Manager at Helix Environmental Planning. Although he is a biological and environmental consultant, Tom found himself learning the ropes of the professional services business development world a few years ago as a way to help his company survive the effects of the recession. Tom shared with us the business development program he developed which helped his company not only survive, but to thrive in today’s economy. The two primary keys to success for his and any business development program, he said, are to engage everyone in the company to market and to follow through on all your initiatives.
Knowing which initiatives are the ones your company should pursue was the focus of a discussion on pursuit strategy and management given by Evan Ross, Marketing Manager of WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff and Past-President of SMPS San Diego. The key to any pursuit is to engage the client early so you know what an upcoming project is about before it reaches the proposal phase, he said. Also critical to a company’s pursuit success is selecting the right Pursuit Manager to lead the proposal effort. You want someone who inspires a winning attitude, Evan said. You want a “Tigger” not an “Eeyore!”
The Marketing Boot Camp is part of a series of educational programs developed by the Education Committee of the San Diego Chapter of SMPS to help members focus on best practices to improve their marketing and business development skills. Last week’s Boot Camp was held at the office of Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects.