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How many times have you responded to a Request For Proposal (RFP) and actually gotten the business, that is, won the bid?results - excuses

Be honest is it 1 in 10, 1 in 20, or 1 in 100?

What a frustrating experience! You spend a lot of time putting together the proposal only to hear in the end that your price was too high, they decided to stick with their present supplier, or worse yet, they went with one of your direct competitors.

In order to increase your chances of winning these bids. salespeople have to learn to “Negotiate with Chutzpah”.

Negotiating with Chutzpah!

The best time for negotiating is before handing in an extensive bid.

“Negotiate what and why?”, you ask. “They are just asking for your best price.”

So let me ask you, on a personal basis, when you had to buy your house, your car, or any other major decision, did it just come down to price? I doubt it. There’s nothing wrong with asking a few great questions before you spend your and your employees’ valuable time.

It’s All About Profit

If you are in sales, you have to take some control over the situation. I know you want to make that goal your sales manager gave you; but be careful when you quote account prices that don’t generate any gross profit, just so you can keep your job and meet your numbers.

I’ve got news for you, if you don’t generate profit, you will not have a job (or a business).

What it Takes…

Negotiating and pricing a proposal quote that generates true profit takes boldness and guts (chutzpah).

Here are some bold questions to ask your client that may help generate some thought and secure your efforts in getting the deal. They will help increase the probability of closing the deal and getting the business.team business meeting

  1. Other than price what is the process for evaluating vendors for the proposals? 
  2. Alternative, other than price what is your criteria in selecting a vendor?
  3. What is the situation with your present supplier? What are you looking to change? 
  4. If we were to offer .....would that be incentive enough to change?
  5. What are the names and positions of everyone in the process? Would it be possible to have a joint meeting before we finalize a proposal, so we are sure that we will provide the best service at the best price for your company? 
  6. Who is the ultimate decision maker? Is this by committee? 
  7. How many bidders are being considered and which companies are invited to bid? 
  8. On a scale of 1-10 how urgent is this? 
  9. If you don’t make a decision, have you quantified how much this will cost you? (Three decisions:  Move forward with present supplier, move forward with new supplier, do nothing). 

I am sure there are more.  None of the questions are pressuring the buyer to buy today. They just help you to clarify the decision making process, reduce wasted time and help you target in on the right solution. Good selling.

A SCORE mentor can help guide you through this process for free! Click here to schedule a meeting today!

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About the Author(s)

Allan Himmelstein

Sales coach helping business owners propel sales growth, and improve their operations.

Sales and Marketing Coach, ARH Consulting Services, Inc.
9 Questions to Ask to Increase Your Chances in Winning a Bid