Collector - October 2016 - 33
you understand the scope of work and have
expertise in the field.
4. IF POSSIBLE, MEET WITH THE
The more you know about the prospect's
needs and concerns before you write your
proposal, the better your chances. For
instance, how much they understand agency
business will guide your level of language.
Is there a scoring module for evaluating
the responses? If so, what are the categories,
and how will they weight each of them? Make
sure your proposal addresses every category
clearly and specifically. If you ignore even one
element, you're out of the running.
5. GET ORGANIZED
Remember, whoever is evaluating your
proposal is reading lots of them. Making
it easier on that person will weigh heavily
in your favor. Every line should be selling
subliminally, without sounding like
boilerplate or like it came from some
Madison Avenue ad firm.
6. LANGUAGE IS CRITICAL
It must be well-written, which means it
must be persuasive. If you don't write as
well as a professional, you need someone
who does. Make sure it functions as a sales
document, not a technical document. Avoid
vague, innocuous statements like:
* "Experienced team."
* "Low collector caseloads."
* "Qualified management."
* "Thorough account coverage."
If you want to persuade, you have to go
beyond generic terms and give details that sell.
7. BE SPECIFIC.
Use actual historical events as illustrations
of points you are trying to make, or
examples of delivered quality.
8. GET YOUR TEAM READY
Once you have a feel for what the prospect
needs, determine what you can uniquely
provide. Assign tasks to appropriate people.
Be sure everyone knows what timeframes
they have to work within. Rush jobs create
If you don't have the time or expertise
for a specific bid or proposal, you may want
to get outside help-someone who will
evaluate your RFP and possibly improve it
before the bid is submitted.
9. APPEARANCE COUNTS
Simple fonts that are easy on the eye are
crucial. Graphics and basic charts can be
a big plus. Your proposal must be userfriendly. It's a simple matter of consideration
for the reader. This is true for both physical
and electronic submissions.
10. THINK LONG-TERM
No one wins every bid or proposal, but there are
a lot of things a quality proposal does for you
that are difficult to accomplish any other way:
* It details all benefits and aspects of your agency.
* It remains with a creditor long after
your salesperson is gone.
* It gives the salesperson's internal
contact a document to sell within the
An excellent proposal can build bridges
to a prospect that would otherwise take
you years to cross. The question you should
be asking yourself is: With competition as
tough as it is, can I afford to jeopardize even
one sale, or one bid, because we submitted
a document that was less than the best? The
answer, no doubt, is no.
Marc Trezza is president of Search
Net Corporation (www.searchnetcorp.
com/agency). He can be reached at snctrezza@
mindspring.com or (518) 263-3500.
How you write your proposal
depends on which kind of bid you
are responding to:
Procurement-Only Bids: These
are commonly a statement of work
and a series of questions. Because the
procurement department doesn't have
to work with the winner, it must take
the lowest fee to avoid accusations
of collusion, investigations and all
manner of unpleasantness.
The exceptions will request the fee
submission separately and will only
look at the fee of the best proposals to
pick the winner(s). That approach is
usually a good sign for the agency that
focuses on selling value, not features.
User-Buyer's Department: This
is usually an RFP issued by the
department that the winner will
actually be working with. Value
matters here because this department
has to live with the decision every day.
Meeting prior to an RFP release
gives the salesperson an opportunity
to sell value and influence how clients
look at the process, so they can take a
more enlightened approach that will
Hybrid Buyers: This is where there
is a balance between procurement
and the end-user department-
exploring that balance is wise, and
can have a positive impact on the
Straight-up Proposals: This is
user-buyer only, when in a normal
sales process, the buyer requests a
proposal. This must be a specific,
solutions-based document, and more
than any other situation, cannot be
a generic proposal if you want to
increase the odds of winning.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - October 2016
Connect the Dots
Head of the Class
The Formula of Five
How to Create Winning Bids and Proposals
A Running Start
ACPAC Election Watch
ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Aids Eleventh Circuit Win for Member Company
Collector - October 2016 - Cover1
Collector - October 2016 - Cover2
Collector - October 2016 - 1
Collector - October 2016 - 2
Collector - October 2016 - President’s Page
Collector - October 2016 - Industry News
Collector - October 2016 - 5
Collector - October 2016 - 6
Collector - October 2016 - 7
Collector - October 2016 - Best Practices
Collector - October 2016 - 9
Collector - October 2016 - FYI
Collector - October 2016 - 11
Collector - October 2016 - Collection Tips
Collector - October 2016 - 13
Collector - October 2016 - Connect the Dots
Collector - October 2016 - 15
Collector - October 2016 - 16
Collector - October 2016 - 17
Collector - October 2016 - 18
Collector - October 2016 - 19
Collector - October 2016 - Looking Deeper
Collector - October 2016 - 21
Collector - October 2016 - 22
Collector - October 2016 - 23
Collector - October 2016 - Head of the Class
Collector - October 2016 - 25
Collector - October 2016 - 26
Collector - October 2016 - 27
Collector - October 2016 - Calendar
Collector - October 2016 - Honor Roll
Collector - October 2016 - The Formula of Five
Collector - October 2016 - 31
Collector - October 2016 - How to Create Winning Bids and Proposals
Collector - October 2016 - 33
Collector - October 2016 - 34
Collector - October 2016 - 35
Collector - October 2016 - A Running Start
Collector - October 2016 - 37
Collector - October 2016 - 38
Collector - October 2016 - 39
Collector - October 2016 - ACPAC Election Watch
Collector - October 2016 - 41
Collector - October 2016 - ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Aids Eleventh Circuit Win for Member Company
Collector - October 2016 - 43
Collector - October 2016 - Compliance
Collector - October 2016 - 45
Collector - October 2016 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - October 2016 - 47
Collector - October 2016 - Last Word
Collector - October 2016 - Cover3
Collector - October 2016 - Cover4