Better RFP Responses & Management
Proposal Land Hustle

Proposal Land Hustle

hus•tle (verb)
1. force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction
2. obtain by forceful action or persuasion (informal North American)
to try to persuade someone, especially to buy something, often illegally

That definition is itself a bit of a hus•tle (noun; a fraud or swindle) because it combines entries from two online dictionaries: this one and this one.  The pressure is the general pejorative meaning that Seth had in mind today.

No one wants to be hustled.
To be pitched and pushed and, most of all,
pressured into buying something.

The fraud is more what I had in mind when I read his post. It brought back a memory of someone I did not strangle.

Can we lie about our experience?

The hapless team member was now blanching under The Look: the “Is-it-a-joke-or-do-I-need-to-slap-him-one?” one. He seemed to be in genuine-enquiry mode so I played it straight.

Lying is wrong.
And besides, they’ll find out.

I eschewed the slap. Hitting is wrong, too.

It’s wrong to hustle a customer. And besides, they’ll find out. Winning the contract and then failing to deliver on what you yourself told them to expect, dagnab it, is not smart business. Not honest business. Not a lasting business. And not a business you can feel good about at the end of the day, not to mention a career.

So save your hustle for the other kind.

hus•tle (noun) (mainly US)
energetic action: “The team showed a lot of determination and hustle.”

That kind is always welcome in Proposal Land.



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  2. Jim Taylor

    Someone said to me the other day, “You know, Jim, you are terrible at promoting yourself.” I agree, 100%. I think my mother must have said to me, at some time in my impressionable childhood, that glorifying yourself didn’t go over well in polite society. I know I have missed opportunities — personal and professional — because I have avoided hustling myself.

    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – This is another example of a happy medium. Both individuals and organizations should know, and be comfortable talking about, their capabilities and strengths: What they bring to the job. That’s a far cry from sneakily over-promising.

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