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An Open Letter to Proposal Consultants

Dear Proposal Consultants:

We get a lot of contacts from proposal consultants who want referrals from us or want to be included in our service provider directory. I understand why you would want that — our newsletter goes out to over 65,000 subscribers who are involved in proposal development. But if you contacted us and:

  • You’re not a member of our site and have never seen the kind of materials we provide our paying customers
  • You asked for referrals from us without mentioning what you could do to refer people to us
  • You asked to be put in our service provider directory just because you exist
  • Your contact email didn’t demonstrate good proposal writing — it’s all about yourself and what you want
You might want to try again. Is good proposal writing too much to expect from a proposal consultant? We’re nice people and we'll gladly ignore the first email for a chance to find exceptional partners who can provide the hands-on help that some of our customers need. But did you say anything that would give us the kind of confidence we need to put our reputation on the line by recommending you to them? How can we recommend someone to implement the kind of best practices we recommend, who hasn’t even seen the materials we provide our customers to implement them? We’re not going to recommend or promote someone just because they say they’re a proposal consultant — especially if their email doesn’t demonstrate good proposal writing skills.

We’re not trying to make money from consultants or charge you for advertising to put you in our directory. How can you recommend our products to your customers if you’ve never seen the goodies that we charge for? Especially since, if you read our article on how much a consultant should cost, you realize that a single referral from us will make a membership to our site look like peanuts.

We can do a lot together. Our Corporate Memberships provide some really interesting enterprise solutions that you can deliver services around. Did you even know that we have Corporate Memberships?

Our partnership program, like any other form of partnership, is a two-way street. It’s about working together because we complement each other, so our mutual customers end up benefiting from a more comprehensive solution to their needs.

So let’s start over. Why not start by telling us about the customer needs as you perceive them and how you think we might work together to address them? Impress us because we’re only interested in partnerships that are extraordinary.

Let's explore doing amazing things together,

Carl Dickson,
Founder and Publisher,, LLC

By Carl Dickson, Founder of

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