The forum includes discussions, articles, and other references that have had a positive influence on our consultants, customers, and prospects. Sample a few topics of interest to help your company grow.
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We’re always looking for ways to share ideas on topics that are interesting to our visitors. If you have a question, comment, request, or topic you would like to discuss, email Chris.
Industry best practices are often focused on the definition and importance of the 'what', but lack practical ways to apply these best practices (the 'how'). Capture and proposal teams face…
Capture and proposal teams constantly struggle to develop compliant and compelling proposals that use resources efficiently and position your company to win. Outlines lack sufficient detail, theme statements are missing…
Winning is all about standing out from the competition and capturing the attention of proposal evaluators. Strong targeted proposal themes can make the difference between winning and losing your next…
We regularly publish business and proposal development articles on topics of high interest to help customers, prospects, and partners improve their performance and win new business. Many of these articles are featured on other websites, newsletters, blogs, and best practice Intranets.
- 24 Hour Company Bid Winning Proposal e-zine (2,000+ circulation)
- APMP Journal (7,500+ circulation)
- APMP-NCA Executive Summary Newsletter (2,700+ circulation)
- Body of Knowledge (APMP and APMP-NCA)
- CapturePlanning.com Newsletter (65,000+ subscribers)
- Large Australian Defense Company Intranet
- LinkedIn: APMP-NCA Discussion Group (1,700 members)
- WIPRO Executive Digest
Browse the “Article” category at right, use the “Search” function to find key words or start reading our most popular articles below and take actions to start saving time and money.
- Proposal Theme Development, Methods, and Tools
- Writing a Masterpiece
- Business Development on a Small Business Budget
- Are Consultants the Answer? (How they can help, how to hire, and when)
- Win Rates (the good, the bad, and the ugly)
- Time Management
- LinkedIn: Tips for Success
- APMP-NCA Conference Golden Nuggets
Many of us don’t take the time to stay on top of industry trends and best practices. At Rainmakerz, we routinely conduct research for presentations, webinars, and the development of new processes to help our customers especially in the areas of time management, business development, capture/proposal best practices, and presentation design/development. Don’t have time to read any of these books? Contact us to get the golden nuggets on your book of choice or visit our blog to learn more.
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell. The instant conclusions we reach are very powerful, important, and often exactly right. Gladwell explores why some people follow their instincts and win, why the best decisions are often impossible to rationalize, and why great decision makers aren’t necessarily those with the most information. “A silent 2-second video clip of a teacher can tell us as much about how good a teacher will be as sitting in the class for an entire semester.”
- David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell. Challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages drawing on history, psychology, and storytelling. Being an underdog can open doors and create opportunities that might otherwise seem unthinkable.
- Do-It-Yourself Billion Dollar Graphics, Mike Parkinson. Introduces a simple 3-step method to turn text and ideas into persuasive graphics with an emphasis on knowing your audience, asking the hard questions, and incorporating the right level of subject matter expertise. Mike is an icon in the proposal graphics industry and a Rainmakerz Consulting partner. We are honored to be acknowledged in his book for our help and support.
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity, David Allen. Includes practical and common sense time management methods with a twist—they require a different way of approaching day-to-day work. Allen’s book provides good tools, tips, and techniques for capturing all the things you need to do and disciplining yourself to get them done.
- How to Become a Rainmaker, Jeffrey J. Fox. Includes practical and insightful rules for getting and keeping customers and clients. “Rainmakerz say you, they don’t say I.”90% of all sales calls are won or lost before the salesperson sees the customer.” “The rainmaker doesn’t sell the product; they sell what the customer will get from the product.”
- Jump Start Your Business Brain: The Scientific Way to Make More Money, Doug Hall. Explores the patterns in the “universe of business” that help you win more, lose less, and make more money. Sections on “overt benefits” and “reasons to believe” are especially compelling and relevant for our industry. This book was a gift from one of our customers that keeps on giving.
- Powerful Proposals: How to Give Your Business the Winning Edge, Pugh and Bacon. Includes proven strategies for creating benefit-focused proposals with a focus on writing themes, executive summaries, maximizing graphics, callouts, and other visual elements.
- PresentationZen, Garr Reynolds. A strikingly different and simple approach to designing, preparing, and delivering highly visual presentations that is practical and easy to implement—without ditching PowerPoint. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication…visuals are thousands of times more memorable than words…bullet points add nothing.”
- Resonate: Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, Nancy Duarte. A how-to guide and business justification for storytelling as one of the most effective ways to create and deliver presentations that connect with audiences. “Stories are very powerful…to help the audience visualize, engage, and be more receptive.”
- Shipley Capture Guide (Third Edition), Shipley Associates, Larry Newman. The definitive A-Z reference guide to capture planning written by fellow Dream Team member Larry Newman. This book is an absolute must for every capture and proposal manager.
- Shipley Proposal Guide (Fourth Edition), Shipley Associates, Larry Newman. The companion reference book to the Shipley Capture Guide and generally recognized as the proposal manager’s bible. This A-Z guide is the basis for APMP foundational certification and required reading for every proposal manager. Do you know the difference between a differentiator and a discriminator?
- Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together, Christine Comaford. A systematic approach to creating company culture to outperform, outsell, and out-innovate the competition. Includes neuroscience research and the importance of understanding the fight/flight/freeze reptilian brain as the key to increasing performance.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. A classictop seller for over two decades explores how being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, prioritizing, and win-win opportunities, makes people more effective.
- The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch. After learning about his incurable pancreatic cancer, Randy Pausch delivers a humorous and inspiring lecture for the ages about the importance of overcoming obstacles, and seizing every moment. The book includes practical time management tips. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
- The Naked Presenter, Garr Reynolds. A great follow-up book to Presentation Zen for more advanced presenters who want to make their presentations more powerful by connecting with audiences. Key points include less focus on technology and more focus on transparency, vulnerability, simplicity, integrity, and passion. “The more text you have on a slide, the less the audience thinks you know the material.”
There are literally hundreds of articles in our corporate archives—too many to include here. The following articles have been particularly influential in the areas of capture management, proposal development, presentation delivery, and time management. More to come…
- 40 Must Read Articles, The Best Articles Published by CapturePlanning.com, 2007
- How to Create Winning Proposal Themes, APMP Journal, 2012
- How to Give a Killer Presentation, Harvard Business Review (Chris Anderson, TED Curator), 2013
- Meetings Are a Matter of Precious Time, New York Times, Reid Hastie, January 17, 2009
- The Beginnings of STOP Storyboarding and the Modular Proposal, APMP Proposal Management, Fall 2000, Walter Starkey
The same story for articles holds true for videos. These videos focus on presentation design and development, time management, leadership, and general wellbeing. Let us know what topics interest you, and we’ll add more.
- The Secret Structure of Great Talks, Nancy Duarte (18 minutes)
- Presentation Tips: Storytelling, Nancy Duarte (1 minute)
- Your Body Language Shapes Who you Are, Amy Cuddy (21 minutes)
- The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch (75 minutes)
- Talkin’ Bout Practice, Allen Iverson (2 minutes)
- The Surprising Science of Happiness, Dan Gilbert (21 minutes)
- How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek (18 minutes)
Here are some of the websites that we frequent often or recommend to customers and prospects.