Dear GMC

By Heather Finch, CF APMP Dear GMC, I recently lost my job and am back out on the ol’ job market. One proposal manager position I applied for required a writing sample. I’ve never really been sure what to do in this position. Do I hand over a proposal I worked on, even if a lot of it wasn’t new content that I personally wrote? Can I even provide something I worked on for another company? Is this all just a test? Please help! Sincerely,Looking for a Right(ing) Sample Dear Looking, ...
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How A Career in Pre-sales Prepares Us to Lead in Tumultuous Times

By Karen Kosloff We are in a pivotal and historic moment. As I write this from my home in central New Jersey, just a stone’s throw from the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis in New York City, with protests raging across the country, as we lumber toward the most contentious and divisive presidential election in modern history, I find myself struck by – of all things – hope. Hope for the future. And hope that no matter our differences, we’ll unite in common purpose and emerge from this turbulen...
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Communication: The #1 Factor to Success in Remote Work

By Becky Petty, CP APMP So you have experience managing virtual teams and landed a remote proposal position. You can count on quickly encountering basic pros and cons. Working from home comes with some sweet benefits: Great coffee (I’m currently sipping a cold brew with oat milk)Lax dress code (fuzzy bunny slippers anyone?)It is easier to work those non-standard office hours We can’t skip over the cons: More dishes (spoons seem to reproduce on your desk)No visual cues to help in ...
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Don’t Let Others’ “Drama” Derail Your Proposal Train

By Andrea Dunger, CF APMP We’ve all been in those situations where drama from another source….be it an outside influence or someone on the proposal team…tries to overshadow the good work you’re trying to do for your client and derail the process. However, as a proposal lead, proposal manager, project manager, whatever your title may be, YOU are the conductor of your proposal train. To keep your train moving smoothly down the track, here are some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the ...
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Top Five Reasons Why Kickoff Calls are Worth Your Time

By Julie McCoy, CF APMP In today’s busy proposal world, it can be easy to dive right into the response and start tackling the RFP at hand. Timelines are shrinking and there is a long queue of proposals waiting to be completed, but these are the exact reasons why it is more important than ever to have a strong kickoff call. Preparation: Preparation is key to a successful RFx response. According to the Association Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), it’s best practice to spend 15% o...
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Defining Success One Heel at a Time

By Bette Sturino, CP APMP We've all been beginners (novices) of something at some point in our lives. For parents, remember that 'inexperienced' feeling you had when you brought home your firstborn baby? Or getting that uneasy feeling when driving a new car or rental car off the lot? Or how you felt your first week at a new job, and of course this one - working on that first RFP assigned to you? In times like these, feelings of incompetency and questioning failure will fill our heads...
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Jargon in Proposals: How to Avoid Trouble

Jargon can be a great help or a huge hindrance. It all depends on how you use it. Jargon is a great way to share information both effectively and efficiently, but it’s only effective if everyone involved understands the jargon you’re using. The good news is almost all proposal professionals agree you have to be cautious whenever you employ jargon. The bad news is there’s little agreement and often much confusion on what jargon is, when it’s OK to use it, how you use it effectively, and w...
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Prioritize Yourself

By Margaret McGuire “You always have time for the things that you prioritize.” The leader of my business development organization recently sent us an email with that theme – and he is right. So, prioritize yourself. Our jobs as proposal and business development professionals mean that we are often under the pressure of deadlines, and time can easily escape us. For a well-rounded life, we need to harmonize all our work, family and community commitments with reserving some time for our pers...
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The Care and Feeding of SMEs

By Margaret Helwig, CF APMP Chances are, if you are reading this, than you are someone who believes in the importance of sound, well-written, and well-developed proposals. You know that we need to provide thoughtful, complete, and accurate information so that those tasked with making decisions based on the information provided can make the best decision for their organization (which is, of course, to choose your organization’s offered option). To provide these responses, we need information ...
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How Cross-Country Skiing Helped Me Understand Strategic Planning

By Tony Des Chenes I am an avid cross-country skier. When I can get the chance I head up north and hit the trails. I took up the sport as a kid, but time and location made it more and more difficult to get out. I had also taken up downhill skiing, which is a great deal of fun. I had wonderful times taking downhill ski trips with the family to some of our favorite hills in Michigan. But, as I have gotten older I have discovered that my days of racing down the hills may be behind me. For thos...
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