The resources required to develop a high-impact, high-quality proposal are too expensive and limited to be applied to unqualified opportunities. Many of you will have a process in place whereby a fully informed qualification decision is made prior to undertaking a proposal effort. We applaud you for that.
Those of you working within companies where little to no qualification is being done and where the norm is “if it moves, go for it!” should consider the following.
Submitting a proposal without a fully informed qualification decision is like shooting in the dark. I suppose, as the saying goes, it might be true that, “even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.” but that certainly isn’t a viable business model.
This seems to be the model used by a couple of companies which recently contacted me. One company, from China, sent me an e-mail letting me know “We have available for you best quality aluminum for any purpose, any size order no more how big. Please tell us your needs and we fill it for you. WE make excellent price.” Not having a need for bulk aluminum and figuring if I ever do I can probably find someone a bit more local, I deleted the mail.
The second company contacted me by phone. They offered, “We are your best source for your diabetic supplies.” Here too, thankfully, I don’t have need of such products and again, hit delete.
In both these cases, I suppose it can be argued that their cost for doing such marketing is extremely low and it is feasible for them to send out information in this fashion.
Proposals, as already stated, are much too expensive (by all measures) to take such approach. Even without the cost consideration, I can’t help but wonder how often companies acting like “blind squirrels” actually connect with someone interested in their “nuts”.