Better RFP Responses & Management
Seth & Me: And Again

Seth & Me: And Again

What Seth said . . .

Just because someone knows the word for it doesn’t mean that they understand, or that they’re a useful expert.


If someone doesn’t know the word for it, it might be worth investigating what else they don’t know.

What I said . . .

OK, this isn’t as neat, but especially for anyone new to Proposal Land, the post on Terms is a place to start and a place to go back to.

As to Seth’s first point, you will find that some self-identified experts do not understand compliance, muddling what the client *requires* in the submission documentation and what the client *wants* in the technical solution/specification with what they *require* in same, if anything. Why does it matter? Because meeting requirements costs money and, therefore, drives price. Meeting wants as if they were requirements drives your price relative to competitors; that is, it’s a losing strategy.



  1. Jim Taylor

    Sometime back in a university linguistics class, I wrote an essay arguing that if what I mean by “apple” is not what someone else understands by “apple,” meaningful conversation is impossible. You’ve used the example of “require.” In the field that I somehow ending writing about, the same thing applies to “God.” It doesn’t matter how much I protest that my idea of God is not your idea, your idea (a generic “you” in this case, not you, Isabel!) will take priority.

    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – As to shared meaning, I think that’s right. I’ve been in too many meetings where everyone was in a different meeting because they were using the same words to mean different things. As to my idea of God (or anything, really) taking priority, I think that’s right too. 🙂

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