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Municipal Contract - how to qualify?

I have a municipal prospect that has consistently let out a general broad-based RFP for the past couple of years of which we have not gotten. Interesting thing is that this is supposedly a 3-yr contract but they are letting it out once again for the third time in 2 yrs.\

At first glance, I would think they are dis-satisfied with the vendors they chose.

How would one go about qualifying a prospect like this? - by johnwsnow
I have a municipal prospect that has consistently let out a general broad-based RFP for the past couple of years of which we have not gotten. Interesting thing is that this is supposedly a 3-yr contract but they are letting it out once again for the third time in 2 yrs.\

At first glance, I would think they are dis-satisfied with the vendors they chose.

How would one go about qualifying a prospect like this?
There is a very strong chance that the previous companies have underestimated the costs and requirements and underbid the work. - by Ace Coldiron
Never respond to an RFP that you did not help write.

1. Usually the RFP does not come close to describing everything you need to know in order to submit a proper bid. The fact that this is the third RFP in 2 years for a three year contract substantiates that. When you help write the RFP, you in a position to uncover all those factors. You have lots of time (usually months) to determine the real scope nad what the real obstacles and challenges are.

2. If you have helped write the RFP that means you have developed a long-term relationship, you have their trust, and you are the favored vendor.

3. When you help write the RFP you can write the requirements in such a way that it is very difficult for your competitors to meet those requirements. - by DaveB
Never respond to an RFP that you did not help write.

1. Usually the RFP does not come close to describing everything you need to know in order to submit a proper bid. The fact that this is the third RFP in 2 years for a three year contract substantiates that. When you help write the RFP, you in a position to uncover all those factors. You have lots of time (usually months) to determine the real scope nad what the real obstacles and challenges are.

2. If you have helped write the RFP that means you have developed a long-term relationship, you have their trust, and you are the favored vendor.

3. When you help write the RFP you can write the requirements in such a way that it is very difficult for your competitors to meet those requirements.
I agree with all three of your points. However I don't agree with your opening sentence, "Never respond to an RFP that you did not help write."

There are ways to respond exclusive of just submitting a proposal. Information drives sales, and the RFP is an opportunity to add to your information and intelligence data. - by Ace Coldiron
And what would some of those ways to respond be? I can certainly see it as an opportunity to find out who the payers are so I can start to build a relationship with them.

What else? - by DaveB
Thanks DaveB, great points. This particular contract is an open-ended contract just supplying rates for equipment and man-power on a per hour basis. Really rather ridiculous because in our line of work every job is highly variable with equipment and crew complement.

I would like to re-vamp their specs.

As an update, I contacted one of the "primary" points of contact with the Town probing for info (were they dis-satisified or what). He had no worthwhile info other than to say that something fell apart a while back internally on their end and they sent it back out to bid. One of our competitors was awarded the contract a few months ago. - by johnwsnow
Is it possible to have an informal off-the-record conversation with one of the previous two contract holders? What they tell you needs to be taken with a grain of salt but it's additional information you don't have right now. - by DaveB
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