Engineers: Are You Missing the Mark with Your Proposals and Presentations?

I recently moderated a panel discussion between buyers of engineering services and engineering firm representatives. The panelists represented county and state organizations.  The information they shared was informative, concise and to the point.

What does your client want when you respond to an RFP or are shortlisted and invited to present to their selection team? The information below is a summary of the key points of the discussion.

What they don’t want:

  • RFP’s that are hundreds of pages. Humans have to read what you submit.
  • A painfully detailed company resume
  • Unrelated problems you have solved for other companies
  • An introduction to the owner of your company (unless she or he will be directly involved in solving the problem)
  • Boilerplate documents
  • Punctuation and grammatical errors

What they do want:

  • To know that you understand their problem
  • Your solution to their problem
  • To connect with your team in the presentation
  • A different approach or strategy—anything that is unique

The panelists were quick to point out that if you make it to the selection committee you should be aware that in many cases not every member will come from a technical background.  Minimize the use of industry jargon and define all acronyms.

Everyone is busy but we all need to keep business in the pipeline.  Be sure your pipeline doesn’t run dry by carefully considering every proposal you submit.