What's the Real Cost of Responding to RFPs?

What's the Real Cost of Responding to RFPs?

Now that business is down, especially at some of the nation's most profitable firms, many partners and marketing directors are taking a long, hard look at how the firm spends its time and money responding to prospective client requests for proposals, more often known as RFPs.  Recently, Altman Weil consultants determined that the cost of responding to RFPs ranged from $35,000 to $65,000 each, or between 100 to 200 partner hours in most firms.  This would be acceptable if the success rate of responding to RFPs were high.  Unfortunately, however, it's more like 30%.  That's right, 70% of responses to RFPs are rejected by the client organization.  Worse yet, "winning" typically means being placed on a list of approved counsel with no guarantee of additional work.  Most of the wins produce no income whatsoever, let alone personal contact with the firm.  One firm contacted for this article said their new "client" wouldn't even return their phone calls.

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