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Proposal Best Practices

An Owner's Perspective on Debriefs

Howie Ferguson is the Executive Director of COAA, the Construction Owners Association of America.  Prior to beginning this role in August 2018, he served as Assistant Director and Senior Project Manager at the University of Florida and as an officer in the U.S. Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. He is now focused on COAA’s mission, which is all about helping Owners be better Owners and improving both their project delivery and their project delivery experience.

In preparation for our June 15, 2022 webinar, we had a conversation about one of the topics Howie is most passionate about - debriefing. In this blog, we'll dive more into why debriefing is important and how AEC professionals can make the most of the opportunity to debrief.

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AEC Pursuit Panelist - Steve Dell'Orto

AEC Executive's Perspective on Partnering

Steve Dell'Orto is a recognized construction and building industry leader with deep expertise across project planning and pre-construction phases. Often called upon as a trusted advisor for general contractors, developers, asset investors, VC funds, and PE firms, he provides strategies that amplify growth and ROI. Steve is the Founder/CEO of ConCntric a collaborative SaaS platform focused on supporting the design, estimating, and planning professionals involved in the preconstruction/development phase of the project lifecycle. He is also a Venture Partner with Builders VC which helps founders in their mission to modernize antiquated industries. Steve is bringing that same focus on founder success as an Advisory Board member to several notable emerging prop-tech startups including TraceAir Technologies, Extracker, SafeAI, Inc., QuoteToMe, TargetDocs, and Soil Connect.

Intro

We had the opportunity to speak with Steve a little more about partnering for pursuits and Steve touched on several key elements to consider when partnering: partnering early, keeping the client top of mind while partnering, finding committed partners, and finding new partners.

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An AEC Marketer's Perspective on Current Trends in Pursuits

Bernice Bako has a passion for pursuits. As a results-oriented professional who focuses on details, she manages the marketing efforts/resources for Turner Construction Company, specifically the aviation, data centers, healthcare, pharma, industrial, and sports/public assembly sectors. She also serves as the national president for the Society for Marketing Professional Services. We spoke with Bernice to learn more about an AEC Marketer's perspective on the pursuit process. In this blog, she gives us her insights on the Go/No Go Process, overcoming response challenges during the pursuit, and debriefing.

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How Competitive Intelligence Can Set Your Proposals Apart

Learning and growing from your competitors is key to elevating your firm's proposals and most proposal writers will tell you it was a key aspect of their career growth. Competitive intelligence in the realm of AEC pursuits can be a dicey subject based on where you live in the United States. In this blog post, we'll give you a few ideas on how to elevate your proposals by looking at competitor proposals as well as ways to use your professional network to gain insights on how to improve your proposal content. 

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Thinking outside the page. How to leverage digital assets to engage your clients.

Thinking Outside the Page

In this blog post, we'll talk about thinking outside the page and how to leverage digital assets to engage your clients. We live in exciting times! Gone are the days of the past when we were confined to an 8.5 x 11 cell, with 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced and printed front to back. Marketers are finding ways to grab readers' attention and draw them outside the page. Sure, we can put hyperlinks into our PDFs, but the good news is there are a lot more options available to us today.  

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Four Tips When Using Graphics in Your Proposals

If you have great graphics in your proposals, your readers and reviewers will thank you. Instead of giving your readers pages of text to read, create tables, charts, images, or other graphics to make it as easy as possible for your audience to understand the information you are presenting in your proposals. Before you start using clip art, we've got a few suggestions on how to get the most bang for your buck in your proposal graphics. 

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The Four Parts of a Winning AEC Executive Summary

Wait! Don't start writing it yet! The first thing you should know about writing an executive summary is not to start writing it until you have a solid understanding of what solution you are providing for your prospective client. The purpose of an executive summary is to convince your prospective customer in one to three pages that he or she needs to buy your solution, so it's not actually a summary. As Tom Sant says in his book, Persuasive Business Proposals, "The executive summary is the single most important part of your proposal. It's the only part that's likely to be read by everybody involved in making a decision."  

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AEC Cover Letter Bingo

Creating AEC Cover Letters that Stand Out

Cover letters are one of the most important documents you'll write and include in your proposals, although they are often an afterthought to most proposal submittals. A cover letter is the first impression of your proposal. How you tell your story in your cover letter demonstrates you have a critical understanding of all the data you've acquired over the past months prior to the RFP being released. In this post, we'll talk more about how to write a winning cover letter and not bore the selection committee member reading it in the process. 

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