Before setting off on a ridiculously early train into London this morning, I devoured a selection of the reports on the web of The Hurt Locker’s Academy Award success.
When the movie came out, I’d read a glowing review of it in The New Yorker – the sort of exceptional commendation from that publication that makes something a must-see or must-read. (’Gilead‘, Marilynn Robinson’s Pulitzer-winning novel was another such New Yorker recommendation that undoubtedly lived up to its compelling review).
She, being a rational sort, pointed out that I couldn’t be sure of the result, since I’d not seen the other contenders – the highly fancied Avatar, in particular. Yet I’d spent the past few days telling anyone who would listen of the film’s brilliance, and its inevitable forthcoming success.
The parallels to proposals? First, think back to that New Yorker review. If the client’s been successfully ‘warmed up’ before your document arrives, they’ll doubtless approach it in a far more positive and receptive frame of mind: “I want to read this one: I’ve heard it’s going to be great.”
And then my certainty that the movie would win, even without seeing the rest of the field. True, too, for proposals – when sometimes the evaluators read a document that is so impressive that nothing else stands a chance. No matter how good the competitors’ proposals, will the reader always default back to yours as ‘the one that I want’, looking for any reason not to choose the others?
So, what awards will your next proposal win? Best document, for sure. Best original story? Best design? Best writing? Best direction, for your work leading and inspiring the team?