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The Art of Winning RFP's

How clients choose service providers in RFP competitions and how elite providers align and win.
4.0 (3 ratings)
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63 students enrolled
Created by Bob Potter
Last updated 5/2013
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  • 35 mins on-demand video
  • 6 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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Service provider competition has never been more brutal. As markets mature and competition increases, the perceived differences between you and your best competitors decrease. You are probably feeling increasingly commoditized as clients begin to view you and your competitors as pretty much the same. Your win rate may be decreasing. More decisions are being made on price, and competitors are “buying” the business with low-ball bids. But you also may be the victim of your own loss of identity because your message and tactics have not evolved with your client’s increased choice.

The best way to win RFP's (request for proposals), is to make sure you understand how and why clients choose one competitor over another, and how elite providers align and win without competing on price, fees or rates. This is the same program that we offer to our professional, financial and commercial real estate clients internationally.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone responsible for acquiring new clients
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What Will I Learn?
Help Service Providers to win competitive Requests for Proposals (RFP's) without competing on price, fees and rates.
View Curriculum
  • None
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 16 Lectures Collapse All 16 Lectures 01:02:35
Is There a Better Way to Play the RFP Game?
5 Lectures 19:12

You may not have come into this business thinking you would become a sales person. Yet, by now you realize that you cannot advance in your career unless you can acquire new clients, retain the clients you have, and expand your existing client base. That is selling.

Preview 03:11

When clients have a choice among service providers, they differentiate their universe of alternatives using the following questions:
Is There a Better Way? Reading

Your clients tell me that, “everybody is saying the same thing.” If they cannot see why your are better, you will be forced to compete on price, fees and rate.
Preview 02:26

In this section we show you how to accelerate your message to make it easier for clients to choose you.
Preview 02:54

As soon as the client has even one alternative, they have three more questions you must successfully answer to enter the realm of Preferred Provider. They are:
Accelerate Your Message: Reading
The RFP Decision Funnel: How and Why Clients Choose One Competitor Over Another
2 Lectures 04:51
There is a clear pattern as to how and why clients choose one provider over another. The more you undertand that, the more likely can you align and win.
Preview 03:42

In this section we go into more detail on how and why clients choose one provider over another in competitioin.
The Decision Funnel: Reading
Navigating The RFP Decision Funnel
4 Lectures 11:31
The Decision Funnel is that map you need to navigate to get invited, make the short list and be chosen from the shortlisted providers.
Navigating The RFP Decision Funnel Level 1

As the old saying goes, "90% of life is just showing up." Perhaps the same could be said about selling your services. Even if you are not doing it well, more client contact will lead to more sales. More at bats will lead to more hits even with a low batting average.

Navigating the Decision Funnel: Level 1 Reading

Once the client has even one choice, they are no longer asking if you can do the project. They are now asking if you can do it better than their alternative providers.
Navigating the RFP Decision Funnel Phase 2

Your rank is your most compelling proof. The more you focus the more you can dominate your market. The more you dominate your market the easier it becomes for new clients to choose you.
Navigating the RFP Decision Funnel Level 2 Reading
Third Level - Becoming a Strategic Partner
2 Lectures 11:49
There are 10 reasons why clients choose you, but once you reach the short list, everyone is well qualified. The best way to win is to find and align to the 5 Client Differentiators. That is the Third Level.
Navigating the RFP Decision Funnel Third Level

This simple personal story demonstrates the power of selling at the Third Level to build strategic partnership to win in competition.
Tale of Three Landscape Architects
Third Level Proposal Presentations
2 Lectures 06:47

In this video we show you how to align your Vendor Differentiators with Client Differentiators to build a Third Level client-centric Presentation.

Third Level Proposal Presentations Video

The objective of Third Level Selling is to help you migrate from a vendor to a preferred provider to a strategic partner. Your proposal or presentation is the payoff for all of the deliberate practice you have completed.
Third Level Proposal Presentations Reading
Conclusion - Becoming a Strategic Partner
1 Lecture 01:39
Only 5% of service providers achieve the status of Strategic Partner in the minds of thier clients. When they do, they will never have to sell that client again. In fact that client will actually sell for them.
Third Level: Strategic Partner
About the Instructor
4.0 Average rating
3 Reviews
63 Students
1 Course
Acquire Retain and Expand Client Relationships

Bob Potter is the managing principal of RA Potter Advisors LLC, a marketing and sales strategy consulting practice for service providers. He is the author of Selling Real Estate Services: Third Level Secrets of Top Producers and Winning In The Invisible Market: A Guide To Selling Professional Services In Turbulent Times and developer of the Third Level Sales and Service training programs.

Bob spent 35 years in business development with companies that included IBM, McGraw-Hill, Dean Witter and MBIA. He has opened new markets in the U.S., Mexico, Australia and Asia. He co-founded, then merged REALBID, an Institutional real estate Internet company with COMPS, which was then sold to Costar Group. He started RA Potter Advisors in 2000 help others develop and communicate differentiated value propositions and accelerate business relationships to win and retain committed clients. Bob received his B.A. degree from Santa Clara University and his M.B.A from UC Berkeley.

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