Any marketer knows you need to build trust and credibility with your audience from the very beginning. Studies show that 81% of people consider trust to be a key factor in making purchasing decisions, which just goes to show how important it is to develop content that builds trust with your prospects.
In addition to blog posts and customer case studies, RFPs also provide lots of opportunities to establish trust with your prospect. And one of the most powerful ways to achieve this is to incorporate authentic storytelling in your RFP responses. Here are some reasons why you should include impactful stories in your RFP responses and a few tips for getting the process started.
How stories can strengthen your RFPs
Good sales reps know how to uncover their prospects’ needs. But great sales reps know how to use stories to build lasting relationships.
They know that an RFP is not just a sales pitch or proposal. It’s also a great opportunity to make an impact. And the most effective way to make an impact is to tell your organization’s story in a way that resonates with your prospect.
Why are stories so powerful? For one thing, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than statistics, and they also help to make your brand more human. Using stories that speak to your prospect’s needs and pain points can get them to really listen and engage with your brand.
By showing prospects you really understand what they’re experiencing and have a solution to their problems, you set yourself apart from your competitors. Stories are a powerful tool to help you show your prospects why they should choose your product or service over a competitor’s.
Great stories begin with great content
If you’re serious about crafting winning RFP responses, you need to find the right stories to tell. When choosing your stories, make sure they both inform and captivate your readers. To accomplish this goal, ask yourself what your prospect really wants and needs. Having a clear understanding of your target clients and how your company meets their needs can help you figure out the best stories to include in your RFP responses.
You might show how your company was founded to address the specific problems your prospect is looking to solve. Or how your company’s founders understand your prospect’s pain points because they were once in the same position.
When choosing your stories, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Requirement: What are your prospect’s underlying needs?
- Output: What sort of impact will your product or service have on their business
- Solution: What problem will your product or service solve for them?
- Evidence: Why is your product or service the best solution for them? Make sure you use data, testimonials, or customer case studies to explain why.
Once you’ve come up with brand stories that really strike a chord with your prospects, there’s no need to keep updating them. That’s because telling the same story makes you seem reliable and consistent, which helps you stand out. And most importantly, it can help you build trust with your audience and prospects.
So don’t change your stories, but make sure that your message is the same across all marketing channels and in every conversation with prospects and customers.
To keep things consistent, you also need to train your team on how to use storytelling when answering a prospect’s questions and helping them make a buying decision. Let them know that reciting a list of features just won’t cut it when it comes to engaging prospects with your company. Instead, it’s the stories you tell that make the biggest impact on them.
Show your team how to make use of your organization’s story, and how to explain why your product or service is the one prospects need the most.
Why a content library is a must for RFP storytelling
Deciding on which stories to include in your RFP responses is the first step. The next step is making sure your team can access this content quickly and easily.
A high-quality RFP response tells your story with accurate, engaging detail that makes it clear why you stand out from the competition. At the same time, your content needs to be well-organized if you want to communicate this story effectively.
That’s why you need an RFP content library to help you organize your stories so your team can access them quickly when necessary.
Here are some best practices for building your RFP content library:
- Curate compelling RFP content: When building your RFP library, choose content that both informs your readers and draws them in. Aim for detailed, colorful answers that clearly illustrate the benefits of your product or service and show the human side of your business. Teach your team members how to create compelling stories so they can contribute additional RFP responses to your library.
- Organize your responses: Once you have your library of responses, you’ll need to organize them. The best way to go about this is to categorize your RFP content using tags and collections so it’s easy for team members to find. There are lots of different technology solutions like RFPIO that you can use to set up a tagging system that works. Make sure your tagging system has clear guidelines for your team members and hold regular training sessions to make everyone’s on board with your tagging strategy.
- Keep your content fresh: Keeping your content fresh and up-to-date is a must for maintaining a library of RFP responses. Be sure to schedule regular audits to check the quality of your content and update it when needed. During these audits, assign content to subject matter experts and set up a tagging system to help them update and rearrange content.
The power of storytelling in RFP responses
When it comes to RFP responses, remember that RFPs are more than just a sales pitch, but are an amazing opportunity to tell your brand’s story and win over your audience. By bringing effective storytelling into your RFP responses, you can show prospects that you really understand their needs and set the stage for a long-term relationship with them.
Check out my full webinar below to learn more about the importance of using storytelling in your RFP responses. Or request a demo if you want to learn how to use RFPIO to create your own RFP content library.