Scott & Son...
First, the snapshot. Westminster School; Oxford MA in Modern Languages; account executive with J Walter Thompson and Saatchi & Saatchi; freelance advertising copywriter in Melbourne and London; back into the corporate mainstream with Ernst & Young, then PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Now running two businesses: invitation2tender.com and Write for Results, a business writing training company that delivers training in writing skills to The Economist, Bank of America, PwC and the Foreign Office, among others.
The foundations for invitation2tender.com were laid in my six-year stint at Ernst & Young, as one of their National Proposals Consultants. Helping teams in the audit, consulting, tax and training practices to bid for and win major tenders was the most demanding and rewarding job I've ever done. Spanning the entire proposal process — from receipt of the RFP or ITT to post-proposal research — the role used a phenomenal array of analytical, commercial, communications and interpersonal skills:
Assertiveness: warning a senior partner that if he joined the team at the 11th hour, we would lose the bid.
Client-centricity: championing the client and challenging the bid team.
Credibility: defending the firm’s best practice approach at a kick-off meeting with a bunch of stroppy partners.
Diplomacy: telling a senior manager discreetly that the client didn’t want him on the team.
Drafting: originating text and sub-editing other people’s quickly and efficiently.
Graphic design: spotting a layout that detracted from the text, or conveying a complex idea with a single, simple diagram.
Sensitivity: coaching a nervous presenter the day before the ‘beauty parade’, or taking the sting out of harsh client feedback, post-proposal.
Strategic analysis: quickly identifying the winning value proposition, and the best way of beating the competition.
Teamwork: supporting the bid team through stressful parts of the tender process.
Trustworthiness: operating without official authority, but with the consent and confidence of the bid team.
Plus lots of stamina.
Do you know the best thing about these skills? If you hire me, that's exactly what your business will get too.
Please contact me if you’d like to know more.