Before you make any decision, especially a major one with cost implications, you should know how your business will be affected. Below are seven questions to ask before making a bid/no-bid decision.
Question 1: Are you the incumbent provider of the product or service requested in the RFP?
If you are, you should know what to say in the RFP and how to say it to keep the business.
Question 2: (If you’re not the incumbent) Is the customer happy with the incumbent’s performance?
Determine if the customer is happy with the incumbent’s performance. This information will help you better understand your competition, and what the customer is looking for that you can provide at a higher level.
Question 3: Do you have a strong relationship with the customer?
Have you done other business with this client? Are there particular champions within the organization who know you and your company? Are there people that could influence a closer look at you and your company and the services you provide? Relationships are essential in this business and cultivating them is extremely vital.
Question 4: Does this RFP play into your strengths?
It’s important to recognize whether or not the RFP aligns with your expertise. If you pretend that you are an expert and ultimately end up incapable of meeting the expectations, not only will you lose your client but your reputation will be affected.
Question 5: Is the RFP slanted toward a competitor?
If the RFP seems to favor the skills, services, and value propositions of one of your competitors, it may very well be a negotiation tactic and a waste of your time and resources.
Question 6: How much time and money will be required to respond to this proposal?
First, quantify whether it will be worth your time, resources, and money to respond to the proposal. Estimate the hours your staff will spend on responding and take into account the total dollars that will be required to make it happen.
Question 7: Would winning this contract further your firm’s goals?
Make a list of both your long and short-term goals. Then decide if this contract has the potential to lead your company closer to accomplishing those goals.
Using this questionnaire in your RFP decision-making processes will give you a clear understanding of whether you should or should not submit a bid on the next RFP you receive.
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