What the Lego Movie Can Teach Us About Sales Proposals

We’ve had a strange winter in Austin. Three “snow days”, one of which involved a small dusting of snow. Last Friday, we had a “snow day” based on, well, chance of cold rain. There was no precipitation. I’m not sure what was louder in the morning, the screams of joy from the children or the screams of anguish from the parents.

At 8:30am, I realized maybe it would be a good day to take my kids to the Lego Movie. Apparently, the savvy parents realized this at 11pm the night before, because I got the last 3 adjacent seats in Austin at 8:30. I wasn’t expecting much from the movie. The posters made it look terrible. Lego has gone from making really cool building blocks to making really interesting cross-licensing arrangements. (My son loves his Lego Star Wars pajamas.) So I had pretty low expectations for a 2 hour Lego commercial, but I figured my kids would enjoy it.

What happened?

If you haven’t seen it, go see it. Even if you don’t have kids. Even if you never played with Legos. It’s really good. (Or, as they might say in the movie, “everything is awesome.”)

Why was it so good? It’s a great story, with humor and surprises and lots of chases. It’s imaginative and even touching.

Is the typical sales proposal more like my expectations for the movie (boring, overly commercial, something I’m not really excited about spending time on) or my actual experience with the movie (engaged, does a brilliant sales job by not being overly sales-y, time well spent)?

I know the vast majority of the proposals I’ve read, and, if I’m willing to admit it, the ones I’ve written, are dull slogs.

You don’t need an animation studio and millions of bricks to create a compelling proposal, though. Just be sure to tell a story that features the customer’s journey in overcoming a challenge (with your modest but expert help, of course).

Anyone have any great examples of proposals that told a real story? How did that impact the sales process?

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