The article points out that the win rate is only 30 percent and the cost to get to the pitch can exceed $50,000. I once worked with an architecture firm that told me that they regularly spent more than $50,000 to respond to an RFP.
So question arises: is it worthwhile to get in line to pitch for a piece of business?
Of course, the answer depends. Â It’s worthwhile if you know what you’re doing in approaching the RFP.
You increase your chances of winning if you do a few things:
- Never pitch blind. If you have no relationship with the prospective client prior to the RFP, be careful. Â The way to win these proposals is to have a strong sense of the needs before you show up for the pitch. If you don’t know anyone at the company, you won’t have a strong sense of the business issues, won’t have any relationship with the key players, and probably won’t win.
- Present a solution. Make sure that you lay out your presentation as a solution to a problem that Â your listeners have. Â So many sellers deliver presentations that are nothing more than general presentations about the history and quality of their firm or business. No one cares! Deliver a pitch that is focused on how you’re going to save the company money, help them increase revenues or otherwise lower their risk. That’s what business people want to hear.
- Keep it simple. So many presentations are complicated and hard to follow. If yours is simple, you come across as easy to work with.Â
- Deliver with passion. Â People want to like the people they hire. If you seem fun to work with, you increase your chance of getting hired.
- Leave plenty of time for questions. Â Clients want to kick the tires. They do that by asking questions.
- Rehearse. If you want to impress the client, practice your presentation out loud many times. Few presenters do it. So it’s an automatic separator.