This is the second of my three blog series that describe the essential elements to winning that Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quotation (RFQ). I’ve boiled down the lifecycle to winning a RFP or RFQ into three main phases: Identify, Qualify and Respond.
The first blog installment described challenges and suggestions to identify RFP or RFQ solicitations. This second installment addresses the question – “But is that RFP or RFQ solicitation you found really for you?”
There’s a growing number of contract opportunities across all disciplines such as: Information Technology, construction, education, transportation, training, management consulting, landscaping, janitorial, marketing and all sorts of commodities. So, when you find out about a juicy contract opportunity, you may be tempted to jump right in and crank out a response.
Problem is, not all contract opportunities you receive are meant for you. Just because a RFP calls for a service or product you provide, don’t think your organization is the best candidate. Unless you can figure out a way to assess your chances of winning those opportunities, you will waste a lot of time, money and resources responding to proposal solicitations you will never win.
Avoid searching for the right RFP or RFQ opportunity in the dark. You need to shine a light that shines way beyond the obvious question of whether you can satisfy the scope of work. For example, consider these three questions in terms of your organization’s: goals/objectives, culture, size, industry, etc.
- What is the real purpose of the RFP or RFQ solicitation? Does the contractor really want your business or is s/he just price checking to ensure that a preferred vendor’s offer is competitively priced?
- How important is relative experience in the industry represented by the RFP or RFQ contractor? I’m not talking about the industry inferred by the scope of work requirements but rather the organization that issued the solicitation.
- Can the “size” of the project be perceived to outweigh the “size” of your organization in the eyes of the RFP or RFQ contractor’s vendor response evaluation person or committee?
There are many more considerations, some of which I described further in another blog post. You will certainly want to tailor your scrutiny to fit your organization. But please remember this one important fact. Only when you understand the complete story behind that RFP or RFQ solicitation will you be able to decide if it is the right one for you.
OK, now that you have selected the right RFP or RFQ that truly fits your business, it’s time to craft a winning response. I’ll talk about that in my next blog post.
Want to know more? Can’t wait for my next blog entry on the lifecycle to winning that RFP response? Then check out this link to my website that describes my services around this need.