The duo behind the immensely popular* comedy show, “Little Britain” are coming to the end of an incredibly successful tour of the UK: in one year, they’re apparently sold a million tickets and brought in £25m in revenues.
When the audience turn up for the show, they expect to see their favourite characters and hear their favourite punchlines.
I can see a direct analogy to the proposal world. If your audience has never heard of you, if they know nothing about your solutions, and have no idea of your story, they’re unlikely to look forward to reading your document – or to find it especially memorable. That’s one of the reasons why I place so much emphasis on the pre-proposal planning phase of any proposal efforts that I work on. As a proposal manager, I should be able to expect my proposal to be sown onto fertile ground, and I’ll fight for the right to harass and cajole the account manager into positioning our story with the customer’s decision-makers before our document lands on their desk.
* Well, it’s immensely popular in the UK. US readers may have to insert their own favourite show, or wait until it appears on HBO next year!