Guerrilla Intelligence Why Do They Want a Proposal

Soliciting proposals allows clients to dip their toes in the waters and test what's available. Most companies want to see if consultants can solve problems that have stymied them. Some clients may feel that the impact of changes to their operation will be less severe if implemented by outsiders. Many companies request proposals solely to obtain price comparisons among consultants. Or they may begin the process with certain consultants in mind, perhaps incumbents that they want to keep on their toes. Nothing makes incumbents sharpen their pencils faster than competitive bids.

For many companies, hiring an outsider is a big step. It carries risks, and the costs can be steep. Review the types of buyer described in Chapter 15. Determine which type of buyer you're dealing with and try to understand the reasons for the RFP before you jump in. Before you begin to write, consider these issues:

Examine the situation in which you've been invited to compete. Don't agree to write a proposal until you thoroughly understand the client's needs and have figured out how to best address those needs.

Define at a high level your ongoing sales strategy. Given the information you have, how will you use your resources to complete the proposal and get the work?

Find the root cause of the issue facing the client. Often, the stated problem merely reflects symptoms, not the problem itself. Consider other areas that may be contributing factors but are not recognized as such by the client.

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