I read through a selection of competitive proposals earlier this week from three large financial institutions.
They were each competing for taking on the management of a pension fund running into the hundreds of millions.
I was asked which proposal had the edge, and whilst each one was over 20 pages long of detailed analysis, it was clear just from reading the executive summary.
Two of the proposals talked about how they were market leaders, in business for decades, and having worked with X, Y and Z, were the best option to go with.
The other proposal identified the client's key objectives, a clear outline of the exact value they offer across each point, and how they would achieve each outcome specifically.
There was no 'telling' about how amazing they were, or how they've helped other companies. It was 100% about their client's challenges.
I found it incredible how two large financial institutions, both household names in their own right, could have got it so wrong.
There was only ever going to be one winner here and the competition made it easy.