Topic: Customer Behavior

Why Did We Lose Out On An Rfp

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
We often receive requests for proposals. They are labor intensive. On a "blind" proposal we sometimes do not get to the final round. It is important to understand WHY but the prospective client rarely will give a reason. How can we get this critical information?
To continue reading this question and the solution, sign up ... it's free!


  • Posted by Billd724 on Accepted
    Why concern yourself with WHY you lost ... seek to get the &$% bid in the first place. OK, how?

    Assuming you can reach them, ask the person issuing the RFP, "Let's suppose you got the PERFECT RPF back . . . what would it say?"

    You'll find that this reveals their true 'agenda' . . . be it specific performance capabilities, experience, price, or 'whatever'. But then . . . and only then . . . can you produce an RFP that will ALIGN with their expectations. Or, you might have to decide that you can't do that and just move on to more productive issues.

    I coach people who do respond to RFP's and the general rule is, "If you don't know you're getting the business BEFORE you reply, you probably aren't the one who's getting it".

    What you really want to do, as has been alluded to already, is talk with the source of the RFP. You want to engage them. Learn what they're seeking. Hopefully, you can help them draft / craft the RFP so that only you and your firm can respond effectively.

    Hey, it's funny how often that's the way you get the business. Shooting 'blind' is for suckers. Sorry to be so blunt, but you seem more than capable of dealing with reality than most.

    I truly hope this helps.


  • Posted by mgoodman on Member
    Some very good insights and thoughts here. The thing I'd add is that when you really ARE on the short list for a project, you can often stand out by actually starting the situation analysis and presenting it as part of your proposal. That really impresses clients and suggests you'll go the extra mile for them.

    Of course, this requires that you develop a relationship and put in some serious time/effort on spec. If the project is big/important enough, those are good things to do anyway.
  • Posted by telemoxie on Accepted
    Great advice above...

    ... but what are you doing to create customer needs IN ADVANCE of RFPs? Do you have unique capabilities? If so, can you educate prospects so that they include this capability in their RFP?

    per Den EV - ask for a meeting before - BUT ALSO ASK FOR A MEETING AFTERWARDS. Let folks know on the front end that you will do your best to be responsive, but if you bid and are not accepted, you would like to know why, so that you can be more responsive in the future.

Post a Comment