Bestselling author of Million Dollar Consulting shares the secrets of writing winning proposals
Intended for consultants, speakers, and other professional services providers, Million Dollar Consulting (R) Proposals ends forever the time-consuming and often frustrating process of writing a consulting proposal. It begins with the basics defining these proposals and why they are necessary and coaches you through the entire proposal process. In this book, you'll learn how to establish outcome-based business objectives and maximize your success and commensurate fees.
From bestselling author Alan Weiss, Million Dollar Consulting Proposals delivers step-by-step guidance on the essential element in creating a million dollar consultancy.
Outlines the nine key components to a Million Dollar Consulting proposal structure
Presents a dozen Golden Rules for presenting proposals
Offers online samples, forms, and templates to maximize the effectiveness of these tools
The New York Post calls bestselling author Alan Weiss "one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America."
Alan Weiss's expert guidance can lead your consulting business to unprecedented success, and it all starts with a million dollar proposal.
Alan Weiss, PhD, is a consultant, speaker, and bestselling author. He has the strongest independent consulting brand in the world and his firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, and more than 500 other leading organizations. His prolific publishing career includes forty-five books, some of which have been on university curricula and translated into nine languages. The New York Post calls him "one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America."
Acknowledgments ix Introduction xi Chapter 1 Business Vows: What Is a Proposal and Why It Is Necessary 1 What They Can Do and What They Can t Do 1 Their Place in Your Business Model 5 Why You Don t Provide Proposals for Just Anyone 9 The Role of Conceptual Agreement 12 The Concept of Value (Not Time and Materials) 14 Notes 18 Chapter 2 Five Steps Toward Great Leaps: How to Prepare Yourself and the Client 19 Determining the Economic Buyer 19 Developing Trusting Relationships 23 Establishing Outcome-Based Business Objectives 27 Establishing Metrics for Progress and Success 30 Establishing Value and Impact 33 Notes 37 Chapter 3 Avoiding Gatekeepers, Intermediaries, and Goblins: Accepting Rejection and Rejecting Acceptance 39 Utilizing Mutual, Enlightened Self-Interest 39 Using Guile and Other Art Forms 43 Using Explosives 46 Avoiding Delegation 50 Ensuring Support 54 Note 56 Chapter 4 The Architecture of Successful Proposals: The Million Dollar Consulting (R) Proposal Structure 57 The Nine Key Components 57 Notes 75 Chapter 5 One Dozen Golden Rules for Presenting Proposals: Steak and Sizzle Are Hard to Beat 77 Speed and Responsiveness 77 Accurate Re-creations 81 Counterintuitive: No Pitch or Promotion 85 To Be or Not to Be (In Person) 89 Defi nitive Dates and Times 93 Notes 96 Chapter 6 Why Bad Things Happen to Good People Who Wait: Moving Mountains 97 How and When to Follow Up 97 What to Anticipate and How to Cope 100 Overcoming Last-Minute Objections 104 Overcoming Legitimate Obstacles 108 Creating a Signature (or Something Else) 111 Notes 114 Chapter 7 First, Let s Kill All the Lawyers: Shakespeare Really Meant That We Needed Them 115 Dealing With the Legal Department 115 How to Avoid the Legal Department 118 Utilizing Your Own Attorney 122 Effective and Ineffective Compromise 125 The Golden Handshake 129 Notes 133 Chapter 8 The Dreaded RFP (Request for Proposals): Why Fill Out the Truly Boring in Triplicate? 135 The Beauties of Being a Sole-Source Provider 135 How to Massage RFPs so That They Look Like You 139 How to Offer Additional Value 142 How to Use Public Meetings for Leverage 145 When to Run for the Hills 149 Notes 152 Chapter 9 Retainers Are to Projects as Montrachet Is to Thunderbird: The Wonder of Access to Your Smarts 153 The Three Variables of a Retainer 153 The Need to Control Scope Creep and Scope Seep 157 How to Assertively Pursue Renewals 160 How to Stimulate More Retainers 164 Chapter 10 In the Unlikely Event You Need Oxygen: We Don t Anticipate a Crash, But There Are Some Things You Ought to Know 171 What to Do With Requests for Delays Based on Time and Money 171 What to Do If Rejected 175 How to Improve Your Proposals Constantly 178 How to Maximize Your Successes and Fees 181 When to Stop Writing Proposals 185 Note 187 Virtual Appendix 188 Sample Proposals 189 Index 203