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You Did not win that RFP, what’s next?

August 30, 2016


Has this happened to you?


Some large potential calls you up and asks for your company to make a company presentation.  You spend hours putting together a company presentation, and fly to the prospect taking some top executives with you.

Then you are asked to participate in an RFP (Request for Proposal), which would bring in $2,000,000 in revenue.

Because this was an unusually large request from a reputable company your whole team spends the better part of two weeks trying to put together the proposal.

On Boarding


The result.  Thank you very much for your time, but we decided to go with the competitor.


Part of our jobs as Sales Managers and Sales Coaches is to make sure that the company does not waste time and resources on long shot opportunities.  In some cases, even with large potentials it is not worth the time and efforts of our people if there is no true basis for doing business.

The first mistake was just giving a presentation without being very specific as far as what attracted your prospect’s interest.  Never give a presentation, if you do not know what is important to the prospect, and focus your whole presentation around it.  The prospect is only mildly interested in all the other things your company does.

The second mistake was in doing the RFP without first asking some of the following questions:

  1. Other than price what criteria is important to the prospect?
  2. Has there been an issue with the previous supplier?
  3. What additional information do you need from the prospect to make sure that they are comparing apples to apples?
  4. Is your timeline the same as theirs?
  5. Are they willing to take suggestions to their RFP, which may reduce costs, or improve the project overall?
  6. Will you be allowed to present the RFP face to face, and ask some of these questions?

If you feel that you must bid, and that this is a door opener, do it intelligently.  If a prospect is not willing to let you ask these questions, do you really want to do business with them?  You must agree on a basis for doing business.  The buyers’ job is to make you a commodity.  Yours is to show them your competitive edge.  Sell the value of doing business with the company and yourself beyond just the product.

In many cases they are only sending out these RFP’s to compare to their present vendor.  With such a large bid, trust and competence is more important than price to the buyers.  They may say price is most important, but without the trust and competence would you put your job on the line for a better price?

Give me your situation and thoughts and let’s see if I can help you do a better job of winning the bid.





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