You’ve heard the age old phrases “more is not always better” and “quality over quantity.” As the destination and events industry continues to modernize, 100-page (or even 50 page) proposals aren’t going to impress anybody because people don’t have time to spend a whole day sifting through something that could be conveyed effectively using far less words and fewer pieces of paper. There’s no reason you need to spend the time it takes to tediously produce such giant documents, and nobody wants to read through such a vast maze of content anyways.
Enormous proposals convey to clients that you don’t care about their time, and they tend to dilute the client’s perception of your expertise. Why further cloud what is often an overwhelmingly complex landscape for potential clients to navigate? Don’t go and offer 15 different mediocre catering options when you can tell them about three exceptional ones that best fit their needs. You are an expert, so your recommendations should reflect that.
In addition to being time consuming to develop, delivering and sharing long, written proposals is no piece of cake. Many email programs choke on large attachments and considering today’s “save-the-environment” mentality, no one wants to be the one to click “print” on a 100-page document. When a client receives your monster proposal and immediately thinks “I need to run out to Staples for a fresh ream of paper” or “I’ll look at this proposal tomorrow when my email program finishes downloading it,” you can be sure your precious first impression has taken a hit.
Get more mileage from each part of your proposal, and make efficient use of your time. Focus on selling the activities, events, and products that you think are best suited to your client, instead of providing general information on everything but the kitchen sink. Technology solutions (*cough, cough Viper) already exist that are helping businesses display easy-to-digest material that gives potential clients all the information they need to make decisions, and the material is presented in a far more efficient and professional looking package. Add to that the convenience of sharing on web-based platforms, and it becomes clear that proposals delivered using new technology are reaching audiences faster and more effectively.
Undoubtedly these trends are already helping DMCs and other proposal-centric companies win more business. Clients are hiring you for your local knowledge and experience, so flex your “expert muscle” and provide more value to them with more meaningful recommendations and less words. Even if you are already using a web based proposal platform and proposals do not have to fit into email inboxes, that’s no excuse to suggest every offering that you think has a cool picture.