The Benefits of Visually Enhancing RFP Responses With Professional Graphics

Content-heavy RFP responses are just that – heavy. How do you lighten the load and enhance the written content? Our RFP Response team recommends using graphics and visual elements.

RFP response proposals are communication documents. In my experience they are the ultimate sales document. So, if you aren’t winning the RFPs that you think you should be winning (and price isn’t the issue) – then what else can you do?

Should you – or could you change the way you communicate with the RFP evaluators? Yes!

A high percentage of the population are Visual Learners. 65%, including me learn by seeing, versus Auditory (30%) who learn by hearing it, or Kinesthetic (5%) who learn by doing.

Let’s focus on the visual learners – as they are the largest part of the RFP issuer population.

Over the past 10 years, de-briefs with RFP issuers indicate that the top winning bids used both text and graphics for RFP messaging. This meant the solution was clearly articulated AND the visuals were relevant and memorable. The visuals helped the RFP stand out with the evaluators – above the competition.

Text vs Graphics

Here is an example of what we show clients about the power of using graphics versus text – or in this case, an Infographic. To demonstrate my meaning, I am using a ‘Text Model’ and a ‘Visual Sample’.

The Text Says…..

A picture is worth a thousand words. Helping clients respond to RFPs, we suggest using graphics to simplify complex processes, in a visual manner. You can illustrate your product and service offerings. You can design a modern looking map that highlights your locations or geographic area that your company services. Do your graphs, charts and icons look dated? When was the last time you updated the design of your Org Chart? Are your personnel bio’s and resumes designed in a cohesive and consistent way? How will you convey an overall positive feeling about your business that indicates you are a forward thinking company or an industry leader? Graphic enhancements can help.

The Picture Shows…

Which version resonates more with how you learn – Text or Visual?

Even though RFP issuers may be evaluating your content for technical capabilities, industry experience and size and scope of project capability – all of this can be enhanced visually. This is especially valid when you have a complicated process or a complex procedure to define.

Adding visuals can capture a five-page text section into one simple Infographic. Not only will this help your proposal stand out, it will take some stress off your RFP team for trying to keep within a strict number of pages mandatory requirement for your submission.

Caution When Using Graphics in Your RFP Response

If you are going to put graphics into your RFP response, hire a pro. Professionally designed graphics stand out from their amateur counterparts. The design difference is noticeable. The cost for a professional graphic designer ranges from around $30/hour to $150/hour.  A professionally designed map, infographic or chart will cost less than $1,000 and you can re-use it in other marketing and communications materials, including:

  • on your website
  • in your marketing material
  • in future RFPs
  • on social media outlets
  • in client communications
  • in Newsletters and Blogs

Currently we are in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown. Now is a great time to review your past RFP submissions and take your proposals up a notch by adding some modern visual components. They will help your future RFP’s stand out better.