Ever hear this “Sure, we’d love to do this deal that you have brought to our attention, scoped out and suggested a solution for. But the deal now needs to go to an RFP…”?
Translation: Get in line with the rest of the chumps and compete on price.
Alternate translation: You have a better chance of a date with Cameron Diaz than winning this.
We’ve all been there, us most recently.
And yet, looking through this year and last year’s deals we did win some $500K+ deals all without an RFP.
Here’s the key – be the information source.
How did this apply in practice? Let’s take a look.
We got a call from a client to price out a low-level commodity type sale from the project management team. There was a consolidation effort underway and it had a timeline so we were interested, but it was a small deal and we weren’t adding a lot of value.
So we started asking questions like:
- Why are you doing this?
- What happens if we don’t do anything?
- What other options are you considering?
Unsurprisingly, they needed to get some more people involved to answer these questions.
So we met with the director of the project team and asked the same questions, all outlined in an email in advance.
This meeting went very well, with the director answering each one of our questions in detail as the first agenda item.
A new start
With a new lay of the land and scope of the problem we were able to identify a major problem the client hadn’t identified from similar things we’d done elsewhere. This got the attention of the VP.
We repeated what we had learned and suggested a solution. That got another team assigned to investigate this.
We meet with the new team and discovered that their role was to map out the various options that were shared earlier and present them to the senior execs. And no, we couldn’t meet with any of the senior execs.
The TSN turning point
The game-changer when we didn’t do the easy thing, but rather the hard thing.
We spent 2+ months scoping out every possible alternative solution, including getting pricing and staff commitments and confirming all of the assumptions along the way.
We built the whole thing into a deck showing each option and which one was best for them to present.
Then the team was reassigned.
We started the process again, from the top. They were reassigned too.
In total, we re-sold this deal to 4 different teams, walking through each of the options and ensuring they were OK with all of the assumptions in each.
We signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with no RFP because we were the one supplier that fully understood the problem and all the potential solutions. We were the only one that made sense.
Additionally, there was no price negotiation at all and every piece of the deal was at our normal rates.
Why? Because the solution was a much better deal than all of the alternatives.
A good deal is about value, not price.
Since this is a data-driven blog here’s the key stat:
100% of our non-RFP deals for this year and last were as a result of mapping out all of the options for the client
Was this hard? Yes.
It took forever and because of how hard it is almost no one ever does it. But it will set you apart and the client will be sure you really understand their problem.
Remember: you are not competing against the alternatives you see. You are competing against the alternatives THEY see.
So do the work and make sure your option is the best alternative out there.
We hope this helps, thanks for reading.
The Rockstar team