Needle-in-the-haystack Proposal Wins !


Claude Monet’s Haystack at Giverny

Consulting with a professional services firm, Willam led a very rapid-response opportunity pursuit.  Overcoming the disadvantage of a late start, the proposal was created in just three days and went on to win the project award in heated competition.

It was late in the day on a Thursday when Willam was pleasantly surprised by the telephone call from Roger.  While they hadn’t seen each other lately, years ago they worked together in the same firm.  A deep professional respect existed between them.  Roger had recently partnered with two other veterans of the multi-family industry and they were in the early stages of building a capable multi-family asset management and brokerage firm.

During the phone call Roger explained that he, his two partners, and staff had spent the better part of the last three weeks working up a proposal in response to what they thought could represent a wonderful opportunity for their young firm. The work covered by the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the FDIC was for the asset management and eventual sale of a portfolio of eight multi-family projects.  Roger explained that with only three days before the following Monday 9:00 AM submittal deadline, he and his partners were beginning to doubt their work efforts and suspected that their proposal would likely be uncompetitive.

Over the years Willam had developed an expertise as a proposal strategist; indeed, proposals were the typical means through which Willam secured engagements for his consulting practice.  Roger was aware of Willam’s capabilities and was calling to ask if there was anything Willam thought he could do to help “here at the eleventh hour”.

Because of the relationship that existed between them, Willam dropped everything and immediately drove to Roger’s office that same Thursday afternoon for an emergency meeting with Roger and his two partners.  After reviewing the RFP and the proposal effort that had been prepared by Roger’s firm, Willam, too, quickly came to the conclusion that a more competitive proposal would have to be created!

Willam devised an action plan and got the approval of the three partners as to the process they would follow.  He went on to explain to them that the secrets of a winning proposal were:

1.  To develop a good understanding of what the needs of the buyer are; what exactly is the proposal supposed to solve for the buyer.  This is done by carefully studying the RFP even if it means “reading between the lines” and doing whatever other research you can into the buyer’s situation.

2.  To clearly and concisely explain and demonstrate in the proposal how your firm can solve the buyer’s needs.  This is done by communicating your firm’s core competency, previous experience, competitive distinction, and competitive advantage.  By focusing on the buyer’s needs and your ability to meet those needs, several win themes are then developed.  These themes are interwoven throughout the proposal; they become the focus of the development of the proposal.

In terms of a work plan, Willam would dissect the RFP to make sure that the proposal would be responsive to and compliant with the RFP.  The first drafts of certain sections were assigned to the firm’s three principals.  Willam would edit these drafts as they were completed, write the balance of the proposal, the bios, and the Executive Summary.

The three principals and Willam worked the entire weekend, day and night.  Early Monday morning, one of the firm’s principals drove 400 miles to make an on-time, hand-delivery of the completed proposal.  He later reported back to the team that the stack of proposals upon which he placed their proposal submittal was literally 3-feet-tall.

In the end, the proposal submitted by Willam’s client, Roger’s firm, came in first—winning the competition.  The firm went on to manage the assets in the awarded portfolio for three years, earning over $500,000 per year in management fees.  When the projects were eventually sold, the firm earned an additional $600,000 in participating brokerage commissions.


“Willam quickly sized-up our situation and knew we needed help.  He brought a focus to our efforts and replaced our organizational chaos with a workable plan which we then went on to implement.  He assertively insisted that we all work toward a standard of excellence that, at times, made us stretch.  Frankly, we couldn’t believe it when our proposal won.  The award of this FDIC project literally “put us on the map” as a firm and paved the way for other successes that followed.  We’ll always be grateful to Willam”.

-Roger C.

Business Owner


The competitive juices of Willam and the team at Eureka TechComm are easily stirred up; they like to win on behalf of their clients.  They are flexible; can handle chaos; and can work to a deadline under less-than-ideal circumstance.  Finally, they are capable of making a very rapid-response to an opportunity.