The last time you sat down to enjoy a fine glass of wine, did you give much thought as to what country or even continent it came from or how it was created? Was it Old World or New World? Does it really matter, and is one any better than the other?

Well, as far-fetched as it may sound, the answers to these questions not only matter to understanding and appreciating different wines, but they just might be the key to understanding the future of sales proposals.

I know. It sounds like maybe I’ve had too much wine. But I promise if you read on, you’ll see it makes complete sense.

Ad Meliora – Toward better things

Wines of Europe or the Old World represent centuries of tradition, consistency, tried-and-true techniques and, yes, oftentimes a lack of excitement or surprise.

Does this also describe your last proposal?

You’re not alone. Like we talked about back in July, it’s time to look ahead. It’s time to think New World!

Wines of the New World represent unpredictability, experimentation, freedom of expression – and your proposals should as well. You want to avoid the stereotypical proposal that companies keep seeing over and over again.

It’s all about acknowledging and embracing change, so let’s start at the beginning. Everyone has heard the expression, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” But, come on. Who hasn’t selected a book or, keeping with the theme of this blog, a bottle of wine off the shelf just because it looks nice?

Maybe you liked it, maybe you didn’t. But what matters is the label was enough to get you to try it, and that’s an important thing to remember when thinking about your proposal, too. The inside might be beautifully designed and expertly written. But if no one makes it past the cover, it’s all for nothing.

Speaking of the insides, just as new flavors and new wine-making techniques have come along, so too have new proposal techniques – opening up new markets and new customers. Did you know that – besides the incredible editing team who is available to spruce up any proposal writing – the CCS is full of design specialists trained in these techniques (and continuously learning new ones to keep innovating)?

You no longer have to hand harvest the grapes, and you also aren’t restricted to standard proposal booklets anymore. Microsites, flip books, online proposals, iPads and unique packaging are all available, ready to be tailored to your client.

Explore ccs.compassnext.com (for new sales reps: Use your Compass email and password “Welcome” to sign in) to meet the team, see what’s new in digital at CCS and check out the “Best of” area for inspiration.

Non Ducor Duco – I am not led; I lead

The fundamental rule in creating a fine wine or stellar proposal is the same: Get noticed. Doing the same thing as you’ve always done might be good enough for that old customer, but you’ll never get anyone new. And there’s no sense in creating a fine wine if no one buys it, just like there’s no reason to write a proposal that no one will read.

So, remember: Think creatively. Look to shift from old to new. And, most importantly: Don’t drink while writing.


Don’t be sad. We’ll be back on the first Monday next month with a new blog post. If you can’t wait that long—whether because you have a topic you’d love us to cover, a question or you simply want to throw your two cents into the pot—we love talkin’ shop, so drop us a line.

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Past Memos

Megan Cieri

Writing for non-creatives

Humans are natural storytellers; the issue is many of us don’t think about nonfiction writing – emails, executive summaries, etc. – as storytelling simply because it doesn’t feature dragons or other exciting elements that we think make a good story.

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Elizabeth Burr

From old to new: A story of opportunity

Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, whenever you are working on a proposal, you must understand that you are a storyteller. And, as they say, “Storytellers are in the transportation business.”

Read More »