March 17, 2021

No, then why do we all keep doing it during proposal presentations?


Boring clients to death is one of the reasons they don’t buy. Nonetheless, many firms and their partners keep at it.


And you know what it spells out?


No differentiation! Commodity! Low prices!


Want to do anything about it or do you want to continue?


Following are tips to break this proposal sin and make your proposal presentation less boring.


Early on in my career, an experienced senior consultant told me, “Here’s my promise: the larger the project, the more pages the proposal!”


And it seems that we all have lived up to that promise as good as we could. I know I have.


But look, there’s a statement in sales saying: you confuse, you lose.


And the more pages you’ve got, the likelier it is.




Clients will tell you one thing: Most firm presentations look alike.


Specifically, they all go through the same steps.


Additionally, they all talk at us – it’s long and monotonous. Frankly, we get it: They all are big firms with major capabilities and have done lots of projects.


However,  they don’t have a point. It’s just going on and on. Nothing special or insightful.


And there’s more. So what do you want to do about it?


You need to break out!


It’s not for the faint-hearted, I know. You’re part of a big firm and it’s usually proposal preparation “by committee”. Lots of folks, lots of views, but little novel thinking.


And it is draining. Nobody wants to make a decision to pursue a different approach. It’s risky.


Moreover, in some firms it’s so systemic that it’s easier for a partner to lose than to win. Who would have thought so?


Consequently, you’re stuck. With all eyes on you.


And that’s when you decide that you don’t need this and go for the proven, boring route, using the old slides again, tried-and-tested, safe. After all, it’s the best thinking of your firm, right?




But how can you leave that route?


Here are three alternatives:


1. Explore different options to deal with the client’s problem. Get away from one-fits-all!


2. Let 7-10 insightful and burning questions provide the structure for your pitch. Questions, on the mind of the client!


3. Develop some insights on what makes the client special. Show that you get them!


And a final one:


Use the attachment section liberally. No need for boring stuff in your presentation.


Read on for proposal sin #3…

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