Your Proposal Was Rejected... But Why?

When a request for proposal (RFP) comes in, you get excited! It's a chance to earn income, develop more business contacts, and expand your client base. You work your little heart out in order to be thorough, compelling, and professional. Everything is in place. Your RFP is geared to show why your product or service will meet or exceed the client's goals. With fingers crossed, you submit.

Whether through non-response, a phone call, or an email, you find out your proposal was rejected. But why? Have you ever wondered? Have you ever asked? You should!

Finding out why proposals are rejected can lead to some valuable insights that - in turn - lead to increased proposal acceptance. But how do you go about asking? Many people find this is an uncomfortable situation to approach. It's really quite easy, if you handle it professionally.

Step One - Create a Form

Create a form or questionnaire that lists a few questions you'd like the answers to. You may want to ask:

? if the proposal itself was clear

? whether all the information the prospect needed to make a decision was included

? if the price was too high based on the services provided

? whether your product/service was flexible enough

? if any element was missing from your proposal

Don't:

? ask to see the winning proposal

? ask which company won

These questions are too probing and will likely make your prospect feel defensive.

Step Two - Ask Permission

Ask your prospects for permission to send the questionnaire. This will give them the opportunity to refuse if they don't care to participate.

Step Three - Send the Form

Email works best in these situations, so, if possible, send your questions via email. Your prospects will have time to think about the answers and what information to provide.

If email is not possible, send the form via postal mail. Be sure to include a postage-paid and addressed envelope.

One note: While follow-up is usually a good thing, in this case it's not advisable. If the prospect is too busy or simply changed his/her mind about responding, let it go.

Step Four - LEARN!

When you get your responses, review them carefully. Don't make radical adjustments based on one or two pieces of feedback. Instead, wait until you've collected several forms then look for trends.

If you see that most prospects are making reference to the same things, you'll know it's time to make some changes.

By asking a few simple questions, you can find out an enormous amount of information that can help to turn losing proposals into winning ones. Simply be professional. While no one will win every project they bid on, with some "inside information" direct from your prospects, you'll have a much better shot at creating winning RFPs in the future.

Copyright 2005 Diane Hughes

Diane C. Hughes * ProBizTips.com

FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful) Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business Into A Tower of Profits! ==>> http://madmarketer.com/diane

In The News:

Stop the sales  Mumbai Mirror

Needs Based Selling

I am sure you are familiar with the phrase, "I... Read More

Mortgage vs. Real Estate Lead Generation

It is fairly common for real estate companies and mortgage... Read More

How to Reach Purchasing Agents of Big Corporations

Now business owners and sales professionals can develop a Faster... Read More

Sell With KISS, As In Keep It Simple, Stupid

One of the most useful and fundamental communications lessons that... Read More

Six Simple Steps for Getting More Applications

When I first started out as a loan officer, one... Read More

How to Eliminate Objections to Price

Have you ever stepped your way through the sales process... Read More

Handling Objections

HANDLING OBJECTIONSSales presentation is not always going to be plain... Read More

7 Pitfalls of Using Email to Sell

* Are you sending e-mails to prospects instead of calling... Read More

6 Ways To Get More From Your Promotions

1. Settle On The Right Way ForwardThe purpose of your... Read More

Refining Your Telephone Prospecting Techniques To Be A Master Closer!

Let me create a picture for you. This is the... Read More

The Damaging Admission - A Persuasive Technique

We would all like to think that our product or... Read More

Stop Telemarketers, Do Not Call List or Not

American consumers have spoken and have done so loudly registering... Read More

Making the Sale When the Customer Wont Buy

Ever had a party online or offline, and had guests... Read More

Whats the Secret to Repeat Business?

When you think about ways to gain repeat business from... Read More

Unique Selling Propositions

If you have competitors, then you should have at least... Read More

The Benefits of Display Mannequins

Mannequins are primarily used in stores to display clothing. A... Read More

The Top 10 Myths About the Sales Profession

Myth 1: Sales People are all Shady!In the Broadway play... Read More

6 Creative Questions To Move From HOW Are You To WHO Are You

Imagine you just met someone new. The formalities of names,... Read More

Psychological Tricks in Selling

----------------------------------------------------------Permission is granted for the below article to forward,reprint, distribute,... Read More

Casual Networking

What comes to mind when you think of networking --... Read More

Stop Talking - Start Selling

Selling is not talking. It's listening. You may have heard... Read More

Persuading Learners to Buy: 7 Groups

There are seven major reasons why adults continue their pursuit... Read More

Asking The Right Questions

On an introductory call, how do you gather all of... Read More

First, Fast, And Foremost . . .

First - being before all others. Fast - moving or... Read More

Never Stop Selling

The question: "When should a growing company slow down its... Read More