Change the Playing Field
Most proposals are full of prices – they must be important! If your normal proposal is twenty pages long, how would you sell if you were limited to one page? You would only have space (and time) to make the most essential points. You would have to know what’s most important to that customer. It is generally not difficult to figure what their top priority is, so you need to know what the tiebreaker is too. Then you might also want to include something that should be important to them, but they just don’t know it yet. How can you do these things if you really don’t know them or they you?
On your next major proposal opportunity, take some extra time to understand your customer and give them something that will surprise and delight them. Let the other guys play by the rules.