Lesson 6: Bid or No Bid
Part 2: The First Step is Always the Hardest

You can achieve confidence and confirm alignment surrounding a bid/no-bid decision by asking yourself…

Why am I responding to this RFP?

It is generally good practice to use discretion when pursuing a bid opportunity. Evaluate the project based on how it aligns with your company’s business goals, mission and core capabilities.

Your goal is probably to win the business, but perhaps you are simply looking to build name recognition. There are times when a proposal response is only strategically beneficial. If your team submits a great (albeit not winning) proposal, the client may keep your company in mind for future opportunities.

Additionally, your goal may be to gain experience and obtain feedback on how to present your core capabilities (e.g., services, solutions and pricing). Feedback is not guaranteed when you do not win the project, but this is where networking will come in handy.

Building relationships with prospective clients will also help you to better understand their organization, leadership and reputation; allowing you to determine how well their mission aligns with your own.

Do I have the time and resources needed?

Writing a high-quality, client-focused proposal requires advanced planning and a commitment to client satisfaction. Consider the time and resources necessary to prepare the proposal AND to perform the work:

  • Do you have the time and resources to write a fully compliant and compelling proposal?
  • Will you be able to deliver the solution on time considering ongoing or future projects and business activities?
  • Does your team have the required qualifications? (e.g., experience, certifications and references)
  • Can you offer the right (or possibly a unique) solution and competitive pricing?

Your team must commit to generating an innovative and functional solution that solves the prospective client’s exact needs while complying with all RFP requirements.

Even if you have the best price and the best solution, non-compliance will likely eliminate you from consideration, resulting in wasted time and resources.

A winning proposal will go beyond compliance to tell a compelling story of how the prospective client will benefit from choosing you for their project. Demonstrate how you can add value to the client by clearly identifying what differentiates you from the competition.

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

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