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Using Storytelling in Proposals - APMP Houston

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Presented by Courtney Pemberton at the APMP Houston Chapter's August Luncheon 2013 - Aug. 7 in Houston, TX

Everyone loves a good story. They spark emotion, they inspire, and they often unlock ideas that we never dreamt possible. Now imagine if storytelling were applied to your proposal development process. They are no longer textbooks full of facts and figures. It becomes a compelling narrative with thought-provoking visuals, making the buyer the hero.

This presentation discusses how to change your perspective and start writing stories that buyers will want to read.

You will learn:

1. Character development in proposals and how this leads to stronger business relationships

2. Research techniques and tools to help you truly understand your buyer’s needs and pain, and begin developing a valuable proposal plot

3. How to incorporate the 4 elements of a great story to create an even better proposal

4. Real examples of how to incorporate visual storytelling within each stage of your capture planning and development process.

Published in: Business, Technology, Education
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Using Storytelling in Proposals - APMP Houston

  1. 1. Using Storytelling in Your Proposals to Make your Buyers the Hero and Win More Deals Presented By: Courtney Pemberton @cpembyrun|cpemberton@schipul.com|www.schipul.com
  2. 2. Let’s Chat
  3. 3. What we will talk about today 1. Before you even begin writing 1. Effectively incorporating the elements of a story… and then some 2. What to do when formality overrules creativity
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. We are biology programmed to utilize storytelling as a memory enhancing technique. -Andy Goodman, Storytelling as a Best Practice
  6. 6. Before You Even Begin
  7. 7. It’s all about the relationship
  8. 8. 1.Why? 2.Get to know your Characters 3.Pain & Value http://www.flickr.com/photos/13522901@N00/59231687/
  9. 9. 1. Why
  10. 10. Why are you the better choice?
  11. 11. 2. Know Your Characters
  12. 12. 1.Know ALL the characters – you may not have met them all What is important to each character? Who makes the final decision? Character Development
  13. 13. Character Wants/Values Executive Director *Decision Maker Advancing the overall mission and growth of the organization -Previously serving Planned Giving and educational institutions -On multiple Boards and highly involved in the community Marketing & PR Manager *Initial Contact Mobilize community outreach and participation Donor/Grants Coordinator Increasing donations and expanding fundraising programs Financial Officer Developing payment installments that fall in line with the organization’s cash flow Business Development Team Engage community partners and foster long-term relationships Board of Directors *Decision Maker and Majority Vote Meets the policies and standards of the organization
  14. 14. Tools for Character Development 1. LinkedIn Profile 2. Website (Bios) 3. Social Media 4. Google Search 5. Social Mention - www.socialmention.com 6. CRM – Salesforce, InsideView
  15. 15. 3. Pain & Value
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. What is your value?
  18. 18. Imputed Value: people form an opinion about your product, service or company based on the signals that it conveys Make it Consistent
  19. 19. Weaving Your Narrative
  20. 20. Elements of a Story 1.Setting 2.Characters 3.Plot 4.Theme 5.Conflict 1.Executive Summary 2.Buyers 3.Scope of Work 4.Content 5.Budget
  21. 21. Executive Summary
  22. 22. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. -Kurt Vonnegut, 8 Rules for Writing a Short Story
  23. 23. Judging a book by it’s cover…
  24. 24. Add value before you even begin working together. I choose the Sales Bible!
  25. 25. Setting Executive Summary
  26. 26. The Characters
  27. 27. Character Wants/Values Executive Director *Decision Maker Advancing the overall mission and growth of the organization -Previously serving Planned Giving and educational institutions -On multiple Boards and highly involved in the community Marketing & PR Manager *Initial Contact Mobilize community outreach and participation -Will be using the product [website] the most Donor/Grants Coordinator Increasing donations and expanding fundraising programs Financial Officer Developing payment installments that fall in line with the organization’s cash flow Business Development Team Engage community partners and foster long-term relationships Board of Directors *Decision Maker and Majority Vote Meets the policies and standards of the organization
  28. 28. Characters Buyers 1. Specifically address objectives per character within your written content 2. Use content formats and language the buyer is accustom too 3. Highlight meaningful examples 4. Itemize costs 5. Educate, knowledge share & be transparent 6. Acknowledge a specific concern
  29. 29. Scope of Work
  30. 30. Plot Scope of Work
  31. 31. Make your buyer the HERO!
  32. 32. Budget = Conflict
  33. 33. https://www.docracy.com/0yebn2ndrlr/contract-of-works-for-web-design-service “As we are sure you’ll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule…” Legal Doesn’t Mean Lame
  34. 34. The Content
  35. 35. Content Theme 1.Catches their attention 2.Simple, easy to read 3.Paints a picture 4.Personable 5.Affirms credibility
  36. 36. Catches their attention Let your buyer know you heard them...the impact is HUGE!
  37. 37. Simple 1. Clearly defined Section Titles 2. Consistent branding and tone 3. Use sub-headers 4. Bulleted Lists and Numbering 5. Not filled with unnecessary jargon
  38. 38. Paints a Picture 1. Use visuals to explain a process 2. Utilize first-person words like “you” or “your team” 3. Explain how you will work together, listing out responsibilities When we take in visual information alongside verbal information, our brain’s ability to encode it to long term memory is significantly enhanced...showing visuals with text increases learning by 89% -University of Cambridge, Visual Storytelling
  39. 39. Talk to people about themselves and they’ll listen for hours. -Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
  40. 40. Personable The Feature: Keyword Research The Benefit: “Data such as this will play a pivotal role in determining specific niche terms that target this ‘connected consumer’ and increase product sales for [your company]”
  41. 41. Affirm Credibility - Prove it
  42. 42. Affirm Credibility
  43. 43. Highlight Your People & Continue to Foster the Relationship
  44. 44. Pesky Formalities
  45. 45. Request for Proposal Have you ever proposed something different?
  46. 46. Pre-Prosposal, Proposal The pre-proposal, proposal allows both parties to exchange ideas and agree on a scope that is truly a win/win. The document then enables the formal proposal to become just that, a formality.
  47. 47. Step outside the proposal 1. Unique Proposal Delivery 2. Webinars and training 3. Fact Sheets 4. Free [Useful] ‘Swag’
  48. 48. Time
  49. 49. Tips to Save you Time 1. Create Templates 2. Reuse Graphics 3. Proposal Generator Software a. Quote Roller – www.quoteroller.com b. Tinder Box – www.gettinderbox.com c. Qorus - www.qorusdocs.com d. seProposals - www.saleselement.com e. SAVO - www.savogroup.com f. Proposal Software - www.proposalsoftware.com
  50. 50. Immediate Take-aways 1. Do your research - know your characters, make the buyer the hero 2. Paint a picture - use visuals 3. Think outside the proposal 4. Make templates
  51. 51. Courtney Pemberton Business Development 281.497.6567 x537 cpemberton@schipul.com Schipul – The Web Marketing Company www.schipul.com Blog.schipul.com Find these presentations slides at, www.slideshare.net/cpembyrun Thank you! Questions?

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