The Sales Person's Kryptonite - The RFP!
The Business Journals

Lee Salz is a Featured Columnist for The Business Journals.

The Sales Person's Kryptonite - The RFP!

Superman, as strong he is, becomes paralyzed when exposed to kryptonite. It brings him to his knees despite his super-human strength.

Salespeople have their own kryptonite. It’s called the RFP, the dreaded formal Request for Proposal.

An RFP process doesn’t have to be kryptonite. Superman has no choice but to fight this nemesis to survive. Unlike Superman, salespeople have options.

For one, there is no law that says you have to respond to every RFP that crosses your desk. You have the right to say “no.” Some of you may be thinking that’s crazy talk, but it’s true. Let me turn the tables on you for a moment.

The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If you aren’t the low-price provider, and you have no relationship with the prospect, how can you possibly win the business? You can’t and won’t. Therefore, responding to countless RFPs under these conditions will yield nothing but losses. So, who’s crazy now?

Sure, when the pipeline isn’t as full as it should be, it is a natural reflex to want to pursue every RFP you can get your hands on. Yet, filling out an RFP is work. It also has a cost to both you and your company.

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