I talked a little while back about the need to establish empathy with the customer in your proposal – especially, from the outset, in the Executive Summary.
It amuses me to see how some teams set about establishing said empathy. They’ll cut and paste copious extracts from the client’s web site and RFP, describing their corporate history and achievements. They’ll patronise the readers by playing back macro-level issues of the type that keep the CEO awake at night – but which bear little or no relevance to the hopes and fears of the team working on this particular initiative for the client.
In fact, in seeking to demonstrate understanding, they’ll actually achieve the exact opposite. Buyers are hoping to see that you have really understood their needs; that you can paraphrase, interpret, add insight. They’re not testing your ability to use Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.