Getting Noticed In the RFP
Many of us face sales situations where the customer generates a RFP (Request for Proposal) and sends it out. For those of you who do not deal with a formal RFP process, you still face the same issues as those who do. We call it “Share of Mind.”
Titans know that to control their destiny, they need to control the RFP. That means getting into the customer’s office before the RFP is written and finding out the real issues of the purchase situation; the problems that need to be solved and the stakes
that are involved. Then, you are well-prepared to present a customized solution that the customer falls in love with. The value is so great that they decide to write the RFP around your solution. When that happens, you are in the driver’s seat.
Again, for those of you who don’t sell within the RFP process, we can translate this into Share of Mind. When the customer has a need, who do they think of? If you did your job and got into the customer’s office at the right time, hopefully you will have done the same job as described above. But, instead of writing the RFP around your solution, the customer just picks up the phone and calls you.
Most salespeople do it the opposite way. They wait for the phone to ring. They react to RFPs that are already written and therefore have reduced power in controlling the sales situation. They are competing against the supplier who influenced the RFP from the beginning.
If you want to get noticed in sales, you need to be at the top of your customers radar screen. You must be proactive, qualifying and presenting your case often. Then, when the time comes, you are running in front of the pack. You can concentrate on selling value at this point. Otherwise, you have to worry about matching the RFP and then very often competing on price alone.
Titan Salespeople know the only way to grow a profitable business is to control the RFP and get in there first. It is always more advantageous to lead the pack then follow behind as part of the thundering herd.