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Prescription Before Diagnosis Equals Malpractice

Time and time again, I watch companies chase cold RFPs. They have no relationship and “hope” is their basic strategy. They fill their pipeline with hope and ultimately close a low percentage of their opportunities.

Yet, as you read this blog, it is highly likely that someone in your organization is working on responding to a cold RFP that our 25+ years of empirical data shows that they have approximately only a 9% chance of winning.

Translation: you have a 91% defect rate responding to cold RFPs.

The big question I have is, "Why?"

Why do it when we know that the chances of winning are incredibly low? The most common answer I hear is, “We may not win it this time, but in three years we will be in a much better position once they get to know us.”


Data shows that people don’t stay in jobs that long any more. Chances are, the sales rep will move on or the buyer will. When people change, relationships change. Some new rep will be echoing those same words three years from now. And you will be back wasting time and money chasing another RFP with little chance of ever winning.

Do you want to know the real reason companies respond to cold RFPs? The answer is two-fold.

  1. The company lacks a diagnostically oriented assessment/discovery process.

How can you be consultative in your approach to helping your customer improve their business performance if you do not have a best in class assessment process? The short answer is that you cannot.

As the title of this blog states: Prescription before diagnosis = malpractice. At Butler Street we work by a simple mantra:

If we solve our customers problems... we’ll solve our own.®

The Assessment Process one of the most important processes your company needs to be great in executing upon. The image here is sample output of a Butler Street Client Development Diagnostic. We can show you how optimized you are in each area relative to best-in class companies. Can your assessment process do this? If not, it should be a top priority for yoorganization in 2018.

We have several variations of output depending on if the company is in the staffing industry v. print & digital. We then provide a complete roadmap for improving specific areas ranging from new client acquisition, to client retention to client expansion.

2. The company has not trained their sales force on how to sell assessments.

Many sales leaders talk a great “consultative selling” game but in actuality, they have not built the tools, processes and training to enable their sales force to “walk the talk” of a true consultative selling organization. One of our customers, SupplyLogic, has an assessment process valued at ~$75,000 per year and in one ten slide PPT deck, they can clearly articulate what makes their company and their assessment process different from their competition. Kevin Sherlock, CEO of SupplyLogic says it best:

“In today’s hyper-competitive world, without a world-class assessment process designed to help your customers improve their business performance, you cannot have industry-leading growth. We believe our assessment process is the “Gold Standard” and the catalyst for developing strong, long-term consultative relationships with our clients.”

It has been said that performance is the yardstick of measurement. SupplyLogic is run-rating at 300%+ growth since 2014 and has not chased one cold RFP in the process. That is performance!

At Butler Street, we believe a world-class consultative selling organization begins with a strong assessment process and a highly-trained sales force that can help their customers improve their business performance. If you think we might help play a role in getting you there, please click on CONTACT and let’s talk.

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