I recently read an article that was accompanied by a video displaying some of the most adventurous wedding proposals I had ever seen. At first I viewed these clips for my own personal enjoyment, but then the marketer in me began to take over. I began replacing the people being proposed to with companies, and those proposing with all different types of firms. I am not a company CEO, but if a firm pitched a proposal that was as adventurous and thrilling as one of these proposals, you can bet I would say yes!
Proposals can be an extremely nerve racking endeavor. The hard work developing the perfect proposal for a client is exhausting, the rehearsal of your oral presentation can be overwhelming, and the anticipation before and after the proposal can send enough emotions through you to send you into a starring role in a major Hollywood drama. So how do you wow your client? I have a few opinions that will help you get closer to wowing a potential client, but if your creative juices aren’t flowing, take the advice of some of the James Bond dare devils expecting nothing less than a screaming yes!
Know your potential partner. Imagine someone walking down the street, running up to a complete stranger, and asking, “Will you marry me?”. I’m pretty sure the stranger would say absolutely not and then run the other way as fast as possible! Just as you wouldn’t propose to a perfect stranger, don’t propose to a potential client partner without first learning as much about them as possible. Imagine you and your firm as a part of that company and the ensuing “marriage.” Before responding to an RFP or participating in meetings with potential clients, do your research. Show how much you understand that company, just like you would do with the person you intend to marry.
Be unique and take a risk. With great risk comes great reward. If you can relate the idea of marriage of two individuals with that of two business entities, it can make your process a lot easier. You (hopefully) wouldn’t propose to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with on a whim. Ideally, you’d think about it first, plan out the perfect scenario to make sure every minute detail is within your control, and knowing that with the atmosphere set in place and the stars aligned, when you break out that luminous question, the only thing that other person can say is “Yes!” So why not do the same with the company you’re trying to join in partnership.
How would you propose to your future “client beloved”?