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Million Dollar Consulting Proposals: How to Write a Proposal That's Accepted Every Time

ISBN: 978-1-118-09753-3
212 pages
November 2011
Million Dollar Consulting Proposals: How to Write a Proposal That
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® 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.

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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® 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

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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."
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Million Dollar Consulting Proposals: How to Write a Proposal That's Accepted Every Time (US $24.95)

-and- The Consulting Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Expand a Seven-Figure Consulting Practice (US $19.95)

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