We recently pitched to a prospective client. We told a story of how we believed their customers would use the new product they had sketched out in the RFP; we told a ‘day in the life’ and brought it to life with illustrations. We walked through our approach to tackling projects and described our experience on similar engagements. One of the bid team described his experiences and what the client could expect and we guaranteed that he would be on the project. We let them have a rate card, and an indication that, comparing what we knew of the project with others that we have successfully delivered, what they indicated they wanted in the RFP was in the range of their budget (which we knew). We let have them directly relevant references who were ready to take their calls.
What we didn’t do was produce them a project plan, nor a definitive cost. Given the paucity of information in the RFP there was just not enough to go by; it would be a lie if we came up with a number, there were too many imponderables. Yet that was what they craved the most. Most of the questioning was friendly and we answered well, however one question sticks in my mind: “From your presentation, you are asking us for a leap of faith to engage you”. Well yes, we are. But is that any different to the way you engage any new contractor? It is always going to be a leap of faith; even if you engage one of the big trusted brands with an established reputation. Sainsburys and NHS took a leap of faith when they engaged my old employer Accenture; they probably felt they had done all the necessary due dilligence and were partnering with a proven, reputable organisation, but in those two instances good things did not result.