A while back, I posted the views of Sheilagh Douglas-Hamilton – a senior figure in the world of procurement – on the purpose of the Executive Summary.I was debating the same topic more recently with Steve Mullins, one of the gurus of the purchasing community. I loved his comments:
“The purpose of the Executive Summary? With passion, to bring alive the essence of the proposition.
The Executive Summary needs to present what about their solution and differentiation they can bring to the point of advantage for me.”
Open by playing back the client’s requirements: create empathy, and show you understand why they’re doing this, the problem they’re trying to overcome (or the opportunity they’re trying to exploit) and the benefits they could achieve.
Outline the characteristics of a successful solution / supplier (clearly, slanted in your favour!).
Provide an overview of your offer (in appropriate detail, both from a solution and commercial perspective, ensuring that it hits all the buttons you’ve highlighted in the previous section).
Introduce each of the three or four win themes that will flow through your document, explaining “why you, why not the competition” – then expand on each in turn, with relevant proof points
Discuss next steps.