• Deb Yeagle

Pretty Bird! But Parroting is Not Pretty in Proposals! #2 Proposal Development Lesson Learned


(2) Develop proposal responses without “parroting” the requirements.


The Government often includes the following proposal instructions in the RFP Section L:

“The proposal should not simply rephrase or restate the Government's requirements but, rather, shall provide convincing rationale to address how the offeror intends to meet these requirements.”


Take, for example, the following requirement from the RFP Section C (SOW / PWS):

The Contractor shall assess the maturity of technologies to support assessments of technology readiness levels (TRL).


When given this requirement, and asked to write a compliant response that addresses how to meet it, the writer provided the following response:


Our company will assess the maturity of technologies to support assessments of technology readiness levels (TRL).


Simply replacing your company name for the “The Contractor” and using the word “will” instead of “shall” within your proposal response is unacceptable and is referred to as “parroting.”


Key words from RFPs should be used to demonstrate that the proposal is responding to the requirements but copying phrases from RFPs - without adding your own insight into the Government’s needs, describing how you will meet their requirements, and substantiating your understanding and approach through experience - is worthless.


In addition, parroting is viewed as an indication that you do not understand the customer’s requirements nor do you know how to respond to them.


Tell the Government WHAT you are going to do for them and HOW you will do it, in your own words, to avoid parroting. Stay tuned for tips on HOW to write “the HOW” in Proposal Development Lesson Learned #3…

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