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Beware the RFP in Sheep’s Clothing
The writing part of Proposal Writing many times begins when you receive an RFP.
Proposal writing, many times, leads to wasted time, wasted effort, and wasted information. All this waste occurs when salespeople mistake an RFP for an immediate call to write a proposal.
Before you begin the proposal writing process, carefully consider what RFP means to your clients or prospects. You might save yourself a lot of time, money, and effort.
Stop wasting your time writing a Proposal when you could or should be hitting a golf ball or enjoying your kids or grandkids.
What Does RFP Mean?
RFP – REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
Indeed, RFP for many people means Request for Proposal.
Unless you truly know and understand your client’s wants,needs, desires, or expectations, you might get suckered in to responding when the client uses the RFP for another purpose.
RFP – REQUEST FOR PRICING
Many sales people confuse request for pricing with request for proposal.
Request for pricing simply means the company is comparison-shopping. They might not even be ready, willing, or able to place an order. Salespeople who mistake this as a proposal writing opportunity often waste time, effort, and information.
Send a price quote, a big response, or, sometimes, do nothing.
Whatever you do, don’t spend time creating a proposal when your chances of receiving the order or contract are limited because people are looking only for a price.
RFP – REQUEST FOR POSITIONING
Many times, prospects will ask for a proposal to determine if the company they plan to award the order or contract to is actually giving them the best price or value. They will use your information to justify their decision to go with someone else.
When they send you an RFP, all that RFP is saying is, “Am I making a good decision by selecting the company I plan to buy from?”
All they’re doing is taking your proposal and measuring it against someone that they’ve already predetermined they are going to buy from.
This is where you have to really understand your customers.
This is where you really have to make sure that you know if you want to send a proposal.
I’ve declined to send proposals because I knew I had no chance of getting the order.
I knew they wanted to buy from somebody else. I did no waste my time. I respectfully declined to submit the proposal because I knew that all they were doing was taking my content and my pricing and comparing it to someone else.
I would respond that I respectfully decline to submit a proposal at this time.
I might say I’m not sure that I’m the right person for this job at this time and the chances are pretty high that I would not get to bid anyway.
RFP – REQUIRED FOR PUT OFF
Prospects sometimes use the RFP ploy to limit your access to them.
This can mean many things. It could mean they already plan to use a preferred vendor. Or, they know little about your company, or, they have received bad, although unfounded, reviews of your organization.
They may also have had a bad experience with a previous salesperson or principle from your company. The reasons are endless in terms of why they might not want to deal with you.
But, they need to keep up the appearances of being fair.
After all, strange things can happen during and after the process of vendor selection, and they might be compelled to use someone else as a last resort.
So sometimes they use the RFP to put you off.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, just send me a proposal?”
Their tone might give you a clue that they are just trying to put you off and you’re wasting your time writing a proposal.
It’s ginzu knife time.
As a thank you for reading this article, you win!
If your send me up to 5 pages of your best Proposal Writing, I will review it, edit it, and return it to you
with a written report on what you did well and what I suggest you change.
Is that a deal or what?
I want to prove to you that my system works and I can show you and your sales team that they can learn these concepts to help them make more money.
E-mail me your proposal sample of up to 5 pages to
Make sure you put the Subject Line: Proposal Checklist
Remember. No more than 5 pages.
E-mail me your proposal sample at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject Line: Proposal Checklist
I look forward to working with you.