29 Nov Lessons Learned: Responding to RFPs
“You learn more from losing than winning. You learn how to keep going.”—Morgan Wooten, Member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Legendary High School Basketball Coach
One of the biggest challenges of building a small business is surviving the highs and lows. I tell you, some days, I want to throw the laptop out of my car on I-270 and become a barista….but like Coach Wooten says, you learn to keep going.
Kadie Solutions had the great pleasure of being invited to bid on a consulting project with a rather prestigious organization. We were over the moon—someone found US. I know we read the invitation to submit about 30 times. But then we got down to business and pulled together a strong submission.
We enjoyed every minute of it. We got to share OUR story, the solutions we provide, and were able to learn about a gem of an organization that is about to dominate in the marketplace. We learned it was not about our story, it was trying to understand how we, Kadie Solutions, could become a part of the possible new client’s narrative and deliver solutions for their success.
But a couple of things we learned from this RFP process about responding to RFPs:
Always go for the wow factor.
Responding to RFPs is never easy and your responses need to be methodical. But think about one element of the RFP where you can show your creativity. For us, we decided to execute the wow factor through our delivery of our submission. We don’t want to share our idea, but it involved tuille and a cardboard box.
Create a landing page on your website.
You can place your RFP submission there as well as samples of work. That idea comes from hindsight.
Say thank you.
Not a thank you as you are leaving. Write a hand-written thank you note. No one sends thank you notes anymore…be different, send that note.
We were lucky enough to be selected for final interviews. Here are some suggestions for that final interview:
Prepare questions for the potential client.
Just as much as you want to be hired, you need to determine if the client could be the right fit for you. Remember, one bad client can cause chaos.
Bring samples of your work.
Bring business cards.
And follow up with all questions and requests within 12 hours.
At the end of the day, we did not win the new business. But like Coach Wooten says, we sure did learn a lot from losing. And that will only make us better.
Interested in looking for a new marketing firm or want more tips on responding to RFPs? We could be a part of your success. Contact us.