It’s long been debated who is the most beautiful person.  Be it Maxim’s Hot 100 or People’s Sexiest Man Alive, there is a lot of room for debate.  If you look at my wife you would know that I prefer tall blondes, my brother-in-law short brunettes. We could debate forever on what is better, but in the end there truly is no better, just what we prefer. When making your personal ranking would you create your shortlist by selecting someone who has done the most photo shoots, won the most awards or is the highest paid?  No, but sometimes we do.

Stop playing the better game, it doesn’t work. You can’t convince anyone that your design is superior any more than you can convince them you should be on the Hot 100 list. When you look at the Hot 100 list you may see the typical definition of the classic American beauty, that won’t change, but you will also find some that leave you scratching your head as they don’t seem to fit anyone’s definition of beauty. How did they get in the Top 10? What did the people see? The answer is they saw something unique, something different.  This should be your focus when generating a proposal.

Each firm has a culture, individuals, and prior experiences that make them unique.  Spend time determining what your firm’s are and promote on them, shout it out.  Is your team small? Are you fun? Do you have horsepower/can you work faster? Do you have a specialty department? Faster is not better, faster is faster; therefore, the more you focus on projects that need fast, the more you will win.

Recently we received 20 requests for a request for proposal we issued; I expect many of the submissions will look similar.  Put yourself in the owner’s position, how will your proposal stand out when given a quick review? What will get their attention, good or bad?  Take the risk and increase your odds of getting shortlisted.  Make your position authentic and measurable; as we know fake anything in the supermodel world only can take you so far.

~ Paul Wember, Owner’s Representative