When I’m working with buyers, I often emphasise that suppliers have a choice as to whether to bid for an opportunity or not. Many purchasers are instinctively dismissive: “If I’ve honoured them with my RFP, they’ll surely respond?”
Now, it’s true that many salespeople do believe that there’s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. But the fact that good sales organisations qualify opportunities (often fairly ruthlessly) is news to many on the buying side. A recent anecdote in The Observer provided a useful anecdote on the perils for customers in this area:
“One construction industry source said that the Olympic Development Authority, which is building the infrastructure needed for the [London] Games, was in a weak position over the stadium because most major building firms did not tender for the contract”.