Characteristics of a Losing Proposal

Proposals lose for a number of reasons with the most prevalent reason being that the government had another company in mind when the RFP was drafted. Losing the opportunity to another invariably occurs when an aggressive competitor has sold the customer well in advance of the bid. But it could also occur because a competitor convinced the evaluators in its proposal that it presented better value, when your proposal presents a "piggish" price or, in the case of an incumbent, when your company has inadvertently let its performance slip.

A previous installment discussed how the proposal's presentation can directly affect an evaluator's impression of your business. However, the presentation of the proposal is usually not what sways the ultimate decision. A loss will almost always have to do with your relationship with the customer (or lack thereof), its reflection in the proposal's content and in how you have presented your solution to the customer's problem.

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