Anne Miller — Words Matter Make What You Say Pay!
ANNE MILLER
Presentation & Sales Specialist
Author | Speaker | Coach
Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!

METAPHOR MINUTE ARCHIVE

Metaphor Minute: Winning RFPs

 

CONTACT:
amiller@annemiller.com

 

September 30, 2009

This Issue: Winning RFPs

'Tis the season of RFPs, all those tedious request forms to be filled out by sellers. All those tedious piles of information to be read by buyers. How can you make yours stand out?

Put a “SalesTiger” in Your Titles

1. Suppose you are media investment bankers and the following is your copy for the “Experience” section of an RFP:

 “XYZ partners, managing directors and senior advisors share over three hundred years of experience in the digital and traditional media world — as investment bankers and also as CEOs, company owners, online entrepreneurs and executives, magazine and book publishers, trade show owners, medical journal publishers and financial, advertising and marketing executives.”

You could just leave the header of this section “Experience,” OR, you could head it Experience: Unparalleled Bench Strength—No Second Stringers

2. Now, suppose you are a software company and the following is your copy for a description of the “Products & Services” section of an RFP:

 “ABC Company, founded in 1996, is a provider of software tools that allow for the deployment of mobile data collection and workflow systems with an eye to backend database integration. We develop tools that provide flexibility of platform and support for sophisticated reporting and communications.

We have developed a suite of flexible, yet powerful data collection and workflow software called xxxxxxxxx® for PC, web, mobile and wireless platforms. xxxxxx® products provide the ability to securely and efficiently collect data and communicate data among multiple users to multiple platforms.”

You could simply title this section “Products & Services” OR, you could title it “The Cornerstone of Your Company’s Business Reporting System

In both cases, obviously, the second titles have more punch and meaning to the buyer.

Rev Up Those RFPs

Nothing, except your imagination, stops you from adding attention grabbing, metaphorically expressed benefits to the title of the various sections required in an RFP. To arrive at a title that will stand out, ask yourself,

1. What is the benefit of this information in this section of the RFP to my reader?

2. Then, what metaphor can I use to express this information in vivid terms to transform the mundane into the memorable?

Someone will get a call back on those RFPs. Why not make it more compelling for buyers to call you?

See you next month. Remember to Make What You Say, Pay—with metaphors.
Anne Miller, "Metaphorian"


Chance Meetings
I attended an Executive Women’s Breakfast this morning at Citibank and met two women who spoke “metaphoria.” One, an Executive Coach memorably described herself as someone who helps executives “dance through” the challenges of managing a company. In a world of hundreds of Executive Coaches, her description stood out and immediately made me want to know more.

The other is involved in something called Gyrotonics, a form of body movement that strengthens body fitness and relieves pain caused by compression. Unfamiliar with the discipline, I asked how it was different from the better known Pilates. She replied, “Gyrotonics involves more circular motion. Pilates is more linear motion.” Seeing I was still perplexed, she said, “It’s the difference in movement between swimming and running.” Got it.


One Side of The Argument
I am NOT advocating for either side of the current healthcare debate. Indeed, I find it confusing. However, from a communication point of view, this video with its definite viewpoint uses metaphor and visualization in an interesting way to make its case. Click here.


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"The Metaphor Minute" is a brief monthly note with examples from business, media, or politics that illustrate the power of metaphors and analogies to make a point, solve a problem, and get results. Use these stories to stimulate high pay-off metaphoric thinking in your business. © 2009. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2009, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling," amiller@annemiller.com
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