Welcome to Proposal May-hem, our annual tradition of posting anything and everything proposal related in the month of May to coincide with our attendance of the annual APMP (Association of Proposal Management Professionals) Bid and Proposal Conference. Lets kick this thing off and coincidentally our first topic will be "How to Prepare for a Kick-Off Meeting"
So an RFP has dropped into your world and you know your team is going to respond and planning must begin as soon as possible. Many people's first thought is great, lets have a kick -off meeting and get the ball rolling but is that the right thing to do? Put simply, No. A kick off meeting is far too often a disorganized hodgepodge of ideas, differing opinions and unclear objectives which many times then requires a second "kick-off" meeting to actually get down to business. In the proposal world that is a waste of time that just won't be tolerated. Lets now discuss a few key tasks that must be accomplished BEFORE the kick-off meeting.
Make Sure to Invite the Right People
A good rule of thumb here is to invite everyone who will be directly affected by this proposal. That includes those who will contribute, those who may lose resources and finally those that will be affected by either winning or losing the proposal. This includes everyone from senior management to your sales team who may have inside knowledge of the potential client to those in charge of print and production.
Set a Concise Agenda
Having a concise agenda will save time and frustration for those in attendance. For instance your kick-off meeting may last 2-3 hours but on your agenda you may specify when certain parties may arrive and leave throughout the meetings. For example, your graphics and production team may only need to attend the last 30 minutes of the meeting. Be sure to send your agenda along with your initial invite.
Establish a Winning Tone
The attendees of your kick-off meeting should be made to feel empowered and confident of winning the proposal. As the leader of the meeting you need to set a professional and winning tone with your preparation, your voice as well as your body language. Nobody wants to work and invest their time into what they feel is a losing effort.
Now every company and culture is different and each proposal team will have their own way of doing things but being prepared and organized is always going to put you and your team on the right path. If you would like to understand how XaitPorter can aide in your proposal process, click the link below and fill out the form to schedule a live demo.
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