One of the toughest ways to make a sale is through a written response to a Request for Proposals (RFP). But it’s a skill your team should acquire if you don’t already have it. Federal stimulus money is becoming available for every kind of service and some products, and most of it will be awarded through contracts with federal, state, or local governments.
Likewise, corporations are relying more and more on the RFP as their method of buying almost everything.
RFP writing is more than a writing process. To be successful requires orchestrating your team to produce a plan, contribute written words and graphics to the proposal, and review and refine the document for submission. When all of your sales skills are reduced to words and pictures on paper, you are at a real disadvantage.
Nevertheless, there is great work available for companies that master this process.
I’m getting a great first-hand look at how a successful whale hunting company approaches the RFP since I am part of a client team right now working on a proposal with a short deadline. They have successfully integrated the Whale Hunters RFP process into their organization, and with each successive RFP they are getting better and increasing their odds of success.
- put the RFP through your Target Filter to be sure it’s worth answering
- learn how to critically read and evaluate the RFP
- calculate the cost of losing and the value of winning
- identify primary ways you can win
- identify most likely ways you can lose
- determine your theme and key points of your message
- make sure the capture team has organizational support to complete the best possible proposal on time
There’s lots more information plus working tools in my e-book, Winning Whales with an RFP.
What are your most successful RFP tactics?