RFP Misery

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Business development through an RFP deal is always hard, but too often it seems impossible!

I talked with a client this morning–a woman COO who is responsible for an RFP response on behalf of a logistics company.  Last fall I coached her and her on team on preparing and writing the RFP.  It’s a very difficult and important bid for her company  because they have a large amount of business with this client already–if they are successful in the RFP they will gain good new business but if they fail they will lose the business they aleady do with this customer.

After months of inaction, the customer requested all of the respondents to complete some new forms focused on itemized costs and has now invited a number of companies to make an in-person presentation  There is no guidance as to what the pesentation should be or what purpose it should serve.  The customer originally asked for a total solution but the new focus on cost detail is incompatible with a total solution.

I suggested that her presentation include some kind of interactive exercise or worksheet that would illustrate how her company reduces costs by creating new solutions–they have done it in the past and will continue to do it in the future.

How do you handle your nastiest RFP circumstances?