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  • ESR’s STVG

    Here is ESR's highly acclaimed Sales Training Vendor Guide, Third Edition.

Down Economy. Fewer Deals. Respond To An RFP!

When I worked coaching sales teams I generally took a tough, if not black and white, position on responding to blind RFPs.  My clients heard me say again and again, “Follow conventional wisdom:  If you didn’t write it, your competitor probably did.  Let’s come up with more productive ways to spend your time.”

(Now I’m on the other side of the equation.  ESR helps companies write RFPs as part of their evaluation process for selecting a sales training provider. Since no vendors influence our RFPs, there is always a budget and executive sponsorship and every vendor receiving the RFP has, at least at the outset, an equal opportunity to win, we expect every vendor to respond.  Most do.  Search this blog for “RFP” and you can read more about both perspectives.)

Through an email, the author’s marketing firm (good work Gretel!) pointed me toward Tom Searcy’s terrific ebook Landing Big Sales With An RFP (registration required).  Tom provides as complete a process as I have ever seen for evaluating each RFP on its own merit.  What a perfect time to release this book.  Just when we are looking for new approaches and strategies for finding and winning business.

(I’ve written more than once about the extremely fragmented sales training industry.  I had never heard of Tom’s company Hunt Big Sales, did you?  Let me know if you have.)

In any case, the book is a serious keeper.  No fluff.  No B.S.  It’s stuffed (as in every pixel on every page) with pointers, recommendations, checklists and whatever else you may need to logically and objectively decide whether to respond to an RFP and, more importantly, how to respond to it.

Here are a few of the many lists:

  • The ‘6 Ps’ to Replacing a Provider
  • The Dirty Dozen of RFPs
  • Top 10 Dumbest RFP Questions We’ve Seen (Searcy couldn’t have made this list up.)
  • Words to avoid in an RFP response
  • Checklist of Final Proposal

Bottom line.  This is the kind of value-forward approach companies need to do more of.  This is a free e-book.  Not only that, Hunt Big Sales says, “Please feel free to post this ebook on your blog or email it to whomever you believe would benefit from reading it.”  (I chose to have you go download it from the website so the author can capture your name, company and email address.  No yahoo, hotmail or gmail addresses, please.  Let Tom know who you really are.  That’s the least you can do for such a high-value gift, isn’t it?)

If you’ll receive only a single, unsolicited RFP in 2009 you need this book to guide you in deciding how to respond to it.

Photo credit: © shooty – Fotolia.com

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4 Responses

  1. Dave,

    Thanks for the great post (and for the shout-out). I’m glad that you liked the eBook–I’m learning that it’s a very honorable seal of approval!

    My opinion on this book might seem biased since I work with Tom, but as a small business owner who spends hours writing proposals, I found the e-book extremely helpful–especially in terms of determining which companies are just looking for free consulting and which ones are truly prospects.

    Oh, and in answer to your question, Hunt Big Sales is Tom Searcy’s new company. He was previously the CEO/founder of The Whale Hunters, LLC, but very recently rebranded.

    Thanks again,
    Gretel

  2. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tom, both that The Whale Hunters and now with Hunt Big Sales. He brings truly useful concepts and tools to the sales process — as well as a high-energy, high-octane approach that gets (and keeps) teams fired up.

    The RFP e-book was informative and entertaining, and I’ve passed it along to several collegues. Great stuff!

  3. Dave,

    I am really pleased that you found so much value in the book- your comments were awesome! Our clients are finding so much pressure in the marketplace to participate in the RFP process- and yet they know it is not a great yield. Our hope was to create a book that would increase the odds and also help them eliminate RFPs up front so that they didn’t waste their time. Thanks for reading it and profiling it for your blog-readers!
    Tom Searcy

  4. Outstanding eBook. Will recommend this to my clients. Excellent. Well done. Paul Lanigan

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