“Using Storytelling in Your Proposals to Make Your Buyers the Hero and Win More Deals”
Everyone loves a good story, right? Of course! Everyone knows what happened to Humpty Dumpty or Goldi-Locks, right? It has to do with how our brains are wired. They process experiences into a story, because it’s easier to understand.
“Cognitive psychologists describe how the human mind, in an attempt to understand and remember, assembles the bits and pieces of experience into a story… Stories are how we remember.”
– Bronwyn Fryer, Storytelling That Moves People, Harvard Business Review
So let’s dive in:
1. Before you even begin writing –
Find out why they have come to you. Why did they choose you? Build that relationship. Do your research.
2. Get to know your characters –
Who are the characters? The people you are working with! The doers and the decision makers. Who is who? What is important to each of them? Who will make that final decision to sign?
You can do some “character development” by using tools like LinkedIn, Website Bios, Social Media and Google searching to learn more about them.
3. What is their pain and what is your value? –
You have to address their issue/pain point. If they can’t log into their site to make changes and that’s the issue, then you target that and help them.
What is your value to them? You’ll need to “disrupt the pattern” of what they expect from you and your company/product/service.
“It emphasized that people form an opinion about a company or product based on the signals that it conveys. “People DO judge a book by its cover,” he wrote. “We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software, etc; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; it we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.”” – Cliff Kuang, The 6 Pillars Of Steve Jobs’s Design Philosophy
4. Weaving your Narrative –
Create your story through the Elements of the Story:
Setting -> Executive Summary
Characters -> Buyers
Plot -> Scope of Work
Theme -> Content
Conflict -> Budget
5. The Pre-Proposal, Proposal –
This allows you and the buyer to get on the same page and “then enables the formal proposal to become just that – a formality.”
6. Step outside the proposal –
Don’t be afraid of techniques that take you a bit outside the box. Consider a unique proposal delivery. Educate the clients with webinars and trainings. Free, but useful, “swag” never hurts.
7. Tips to save you time –
- Create templates
- Reuse graphics
- Proposal Generator Software
See the slides on Slide Share below: