18 Deal or No Deal?: Qualifying the Opportunity

PROPOSALS ARE EXPENSIVE. THEY CAN SUCK UP huge amounts of resources and time. And the most expensive ones never seem to win. In fact, in some ways the worst thing that can happen to you is that you finish second. Your investment is probably equal to that made by the winner, but your return on it is zero. As my friend Tom Amrhein used to say, “The best way to improve your win ratio is to stop bidding for work you have no chance of winning.” That’s great advice, but often surprisingly hard for people to take.

Deal or No Deal?

Qualifying an opportunity at the outset helps you determine whether it’s worth pursuing at all, and, if it is, with how much effort. At a minimum, you need the answers to five ...

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