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RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0982473900
ISBN-10: 0982473907
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RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business + Handbook For Writing Proposals, Second Edition + Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the first book I've seen on this grossly overlooked topic and it's definitely a winner. Smaller firms hoping to land large corporate customers will find the most value, but even sellers from big companies will learn some new tricks.

"In short, you'll discover how to qualify, divide and conquer RFPs that make the most sense for your company." --Jill Konrath, Author, "Selling to Big Companies" and Founder, SellingtoBigCompanies.com

"This book is a serious keeper. No fluff. No B.S. It's stuffed (as in every pixel on every page) with pointers, recommendations, checklists and whatever else you may need to logically and objectively decide whether to respond to an RFP and, more importantly, how to respond to it.

"If you receive only a single, unsolicited RFP in your career, you need this book to guide you in deciding how to respond to it." --Dave Stein, CEO & Founder, ES Research Group, Inc.

"An RFP can be a wonderful opportunity or a destructive waste of company resources. If you get involved with an RFP, make sure you are in it to win and you know what you are doing. RFPs Suck! will help you navigate the RFP world and give you the ammunition to make the best choices (from the start) to grow your business." --Joe Pulizzi, Co-Author, "Get Content. Get Customers." Founder, Junta42

"As a writer of RFPs, I found your well-thought out and documented approach for vendors' consideration to be a great road map. If I was a cheering section, you would hear the roars.

"One of the challenges many consultants (and clients) often encounter is getting longer lead times, for both sides. Time to write and document all the background and requirements, as well as sufficient time for the vendor to prepare their proposal. This, however, is not an excuse for either side to be sloppy or ill-prepared.

"Having said that, it is still amazing to see how many companies' proposals "cut and paste generalizations en mass," use hyperbole throughout, don't justify why they should be selected and don't follow directions.

"I hope that companies take your book seriously enough to better manage if and how they respond to RFPs.

"Thanks for the high-value proposition." --Gloria Kurant, President, KURANT DIRECT INC.

"Tom Searcy's 'RFPs Suck!' embodies the same enlightened wisdom and insight responsible for helping our company land a project in excess of $50 million. Working with Tom over the years has been one of the more stimulating and rewarding experiences of my professional life. I have come to regard Tom as a close personal friend and can't wait to engage him again." --Richard H. Drennen, President, Superior Mechanical, Inc.

From the Author

When my marketing team told me that I should write an e-book on RFPs and offer it to readers for free on my website, I thought they were out of their minds. But thousands of downloads and seemingly hundreds of "Thank You" notes later, I realized that the demand for this type of material was strong and growing. And so I've expanded what was once limited material into what I like to think of as the ultimate guide to conquering RFPs--whether government, private or public--by adding several additional winning techniques and a number of sample RFP responses (with critiques). I also did my due diligence by surveying my audience about the mysteries and troubles they've encountered in their RFP traumas experiences and addressed them here.

Thanks go to Wynola Richards for her tireless work on this project. To Carajane Moore for handling the many things that could have easily interfered with the undertaking of a new book. To Richard Drennen for his innovative approach to the world of RFPs. To Dan Kemper's critical eye and nimble mind. To Dave Stein for his continual support and for contributing the foreword to this book. To Jack Burns for always being the voice of reason, balance and practical application. And last but not least, thanks to my publishing team at Channel V Books. You are all a huge thorn in my side, which is precisely why we work so well together.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Channel V Books (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982473907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982473900
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Searcy is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and the foremost expert in large account sales. His methods of unlocking explosive growth were developed through years of real-world success. By the age of 40, Searcy had led four corporations, transforming annual revenues of less than $15 million to more than $100 million in each case.

Since then, Searcy founded Hunt Big Sales, a fast-growth consultancy and thought leadership organization. With Searcy's guidance, Hunt Big Sales clients have landed more than $5 billion in new sales with 190 of the Fortune 500 companies, including 3M, Disney, Chase Bank, International Paper, AT&T, Apple and hundreds more.

Searcy's revolutionary ideas are now more accessible than ever. He is the author of RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business and co-author of Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company. Searcy's newest book co-authored by Henry DeVries, How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett: Lessons from the World's Greatest Dealmaker, is being released by McGraw-Hill in November 2012. Searcy writes weekly online columns for Forbes, CBS MoneyWatch and Inc.com, which have a combined monthly readership of 38 million. Searcy's expertise has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times UK, and Inc. Magazine.

Searcy has also established himself as a nationally renowned speaker. He is a regular contributor to the Inc. Magazine conferences, the Inc. 500/500 Conferences, and Vistage International, the leading organization for CEO thought-leadership, where he is ranked in the top 1% of speakers. He's also a member of the Million Dollar Speakers Club for the National Speakers Association. Searcy has spoken to more than 5000 CEOs internationally about explosive growth sales.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joe Pulizzi on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have always detested RFPs. They are a big waste of time, talent and resources. But, unfortunately, they are a part of the business world we live in. Two things. First, if you are a responder to RFPs, this book will help you manage the game so that the rules are tipped in your favor. Second, if you create RFPs (you know who you are), then read this book and get a clue on how you can develop an RFP that is not an eternal pit of confusion.

Good book...well worth the time (unlike RFPs).

Joe Pulizzi
Co-author, Get Content Get Customers
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dan Waldschmidt on September 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK... We all know that winning BIG requires proposing BIG ideas (that cost money). But how do you propose BIG ideas that get buy-in from your customer? How do you win the deal when you have competitors viscously fighting for the the contract?

You start by reading Tom's book...

Tom very simply lays out the framework to compete and win the biggest deals of your lifetime. His step-by-step methodology is a "must read" for every company Sales VP and should be required reading for every advanced Marketing Degree. It's easy to read, extremely practical, and ..... actually works.

What adds extra value to this book are the last 5-6 chapters that spell out how a winning RPF scenario works. You get samples. You get scenarios. You get analysis. You get 1-on-1 coaching from the author himself.

Tom's previous book "Whale Hunters" was a great read. This one is EVEN BETTER!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard H. Drennen on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Tom and his staff were instrumental in helping us secure a $50 million contract recently, so I was sold on the contents of this book before I even cracked its cover. But as I read through it, I was taken by the fact that there wasn't a lot of wasted fluff like we often find in business books. You don't have to weed through page after page to get to the meat of the matter...how refreshing.

The very first page is evidence of this. As with anything that Tom puts his considerable energies into, RFPs Suck! is a masterpiece for anyone who wants to take their pursuit of business to the next level. RFPs take so much time, creative energy and money. It is a blessing to have the definitive textbook on how to respond to them in our arsenal. This book will definitely be a comparative advantage that we fully intend to exploit!

Richard H. Drennen
President
Superior Mechanical, Inc.
Birmingham, AL
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Thomas Hill on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"RFPs Suck!" was informative and entertaining. (Seriously, who knew RFPs could be entertaining?) Absolutely anyone who is involved in the RFP process--no matter how big or small their company--should buy, read and scribble notes all over this book. I've already passed it along to several colleagues and will continue sharing it with clients. Great stuff!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. R. Fleming on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to say exactly how many aha! moments I had while reading this book, but suffice it to say, there were a lot of them! I picked up this book because my company has often felt frustrated by the RFP process--so often it felt like we'd just spent hours to give a bigger, wealthier, more resource-rich company some free consulting that they could easily have paid for. And, well, in some of those cases, it seems pretty clear that that's exactly what happened. But in other cases, it's now really clear to me that we didn't present ourselves to our best effect, in a way that bigger companies could really relate to, understand, and feel comfortable committing to working with.

RFPs Suck! shed so much light on the process, and made me understand that when done right, it's not just casting about in the dark. You really can read all kinds of clues that tell you when to run in the other direction and when you should commit your team to creating a really great proposal. Searcy also has good examples of where responding companies go wrong, and it was helpful to see the traps that we all fall into--I think most often because we are busy worrying about ourselves and selling ourselves that we forget how much the process is really about the company looking to hire.

Truly, this is one of those examples where the smartest ideas are the most straightforward ones--I constantly found myself saying, So true!, or, Of course, why didn't I think of that?! My copy already has notes in every chapter, and my company is putting the ideas to work in the RFP we are working on right now. Thank you, thank you!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jon Aleckson on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Many RFPs do SUCK. I write a blog for eLearning managers and I raved about this book ([...]). It is too easy and short a read for an award of five stars, but it certainly earns all four on significance and usability. The RFPs that are most painful to respond to are the wired or perfunctory ones. The client or consultant has a favorite vendor (and it is not you) but is required to solicit proposals or is looking for the lowest cost. Sound familiar? Tom Searcy has found an incredible niche of being the "BIG RFP" expert and educator for small company sales departments looking to land a big project. This new book is a must read because it's short, well laid out and to the point.
His five best take aways:
1."Know how to quit the process before it starts." Read about how to create a company decision making matrix so you are only answering the RFPs you should be answering.
2. "10 ways a buyer says "you're too small" Tom takes a look at each of the 10 fears buyers have of small companies.
3. Make sure you learn to say what your prospects want to hear by saying it in terms of time, money and risk.
4. How to avoid having a proposal that is a "me too vendor response".
5. Great tips and techniques on organizing the RFP response.

In short, if you have not evaluated your sales department's procedures and process for answering RFPs this book is a must buy!
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