Winning Ambulance RFP and Contracting...

Winning Ambulance RFP and Contracting Strategies

Posted in the Phoenix Forum

“Ambulance Business Development”

Since: Sep 12

Phoenix

#1 Sep 2, 2012
Winning Ambulance RFP Strategies
What Every Company Needs to Know
Friday August 24th, 2012
Michael Shabkie, Principal at Marketing 911

Over the past 20 years I have been in the “unfortunate” position of being asked to develop major Request for Proposals for ambulance services that were worth millions of dollars to the successful bidder. Initially, I had no background or expertise in developing RFP’s - it was truly “trial by fire.” With a lack of resource material or programs designed to educate, it became apparent that I would have to learn as I go. Does this sound familiar?

Developing winning ambulance proposals is truly an art form. There are so many moving parts to a successful bid that it really transforms itself into a full-fledged project management nightmare. I always tell anyone who listens that you have to know what you’re up against before you invest the time, the money and the resources to respond to a municipal or large government ambulance service RFP. Research shows that ambulance companies that weren’t involved in the early stages of the proposal process do not win the business.

The one important take away of this article is that you should know your market, the contract cycles and your competitors at least 12 to 18 months before a RFP is even scheduled to be released.

I have wasted a lot of time chasing contracting opportunities that ended up not panning out. The primary reason was that I did not know the market as well as I thought and that the successful vendor had the “inside track” all along.

I cannot tell you how many times there were RFP processes that had the hallmark indications of a tainted process such as:

• A procurement process that has a list of requirements that cannot be met by a reasonable company
• RFP’s released with an artificially short time-frame to respond
• A process in which there is no access to the key decision makers
• Anytime I received an unsolicited call from an unknown procurement officer

In any “Sales 101” class, the secret of making a sale is gaining access to the decision makers. At some point, it is vitally important to speak to those who will affect the final outcome of the RFP. If questions are steadily rebuffed, the RFP requirements too expensive or the timeframe to respond is too quick, these should serve as huge “red flags.”

Read the complete article at at www.marketing911.net

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