When developing a proposal, we often find that we’ve seen similar questions in past RFPs – and offered similar solutions to previous customers. And, of course, the most effective proposal centres out there can draw from their library of excellent pre-written content. Yet the proposal right now for this customer, to these evaluators, for this specific opportunity, against these particular competitors, still has to feel fresh and relevant. Indeed, our research with buyers (and my own personal experience on the evaluators’ side of the table) shows that customers hate nothing more than standard text that was evidently first written for “someone else”.
Minghella faced a similar challenge adapting a story that’s been seen in dozens of previous formats. (My own benchmark is the Disney adaptation, with a fox as the eponymous hero). So, the team locked themselves away in a comfortable room, filled with anything Robin Hood-related that they could get hold of. Books crammed the shelves; posters lined the walls; cuddly toys were cuddled; projections of past movies filled the screens. And for weeks they watched, and listened, and talked, and absorbed…
…and then they walked into the neighbouring room, identical in every respect, but with bare walls, empty bookcases – and started to work out their cut on the story.
Oh for the luxury of time to immerse oneself to that level of detail in the proposal world! Yet I can see how one might adapt the technique, either for live deals (given sufficient war room space) or as a trick to creating new pre-written content, fast.