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The Distance to Victory

In my previous post, I talked a bit about what a proposal is and isn't. In this post, I'll be talking about how your position or distance to the customer is in direct correlation to the distance between you and winning their business.

The Likelihood of Winning

Have you ever participated in an RFP that maybe you heard about from an RFP site? One where you got a notification from like "PublicBids-R-Us dot com" and after looking at the requirements, thought maybe you should participate?

Did you know that "blind-bidding" (i.e. participating in a bid where you don't have a relationship of any kind with the customer and your company isn't even on their radar) has a less than 2% chance of winning?

I know - harsh, right? It's true. If the customer doesn't know you, the chance that they choose your solution is really slim. It's not because your proposal is incapable of wow-ing them - it still could - it means that you lost the ability to have competitive advantage with the customer before the RFP was released. If the customer didn't invite you, they've likely already been chatting with someone else. Let me explain...

The name of the game is Increasing Customer Preference.

There are two halves of this sandwich, so to speak. The first half is all of the effort that goes into the sale before the RFP is released, the purpose is to build trust through this relationship building.

The second half is the RFP itself. While a winning proposal builds trust with the person reading it through clear, relevant, engaging content that illustrates the value of the solution - it's still only half of the sandwich!

Man cannot win on half a sandwich alone.

I don't know where I was going with that analogy, but you want the whole sandwich, right? So does the customer. It's rare that the proposal can do and be all of the things the customer is looking for, while they have never heard of you or talked to you. At the same time, if the customer has decided they need to go to the trouble and expense of issuing an RFP, that means that this process for them likely started a while ago. You're late!

Read on to my next post to learn more about how to increase customer preference!

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