A Sample RFP Response Format (w/ Commentary)

sample RFP template

  A little while back we posted an article about writing a reply to an RFP (Request for Proposal), which provided a basic outline for responding to potential clients.  Since then, we have received a lot of questions from the MRH community asking for details on formats to use as well as what sort of sections and content to include.  So, we wanted

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Managing Your Customer That Misbehaves in the B2B Space

dealing with bad customers

Isn’t the Customer Always Right? Actually, no, they aren’t!  In the B2B space, we often find ourselves working with clients and customers to develop and sell our products and services.  And yet, sometimes, things do not always go as planned.  I recently paid a visit to one customer who has started to change the rules as they go.  Despite the contractual commitments

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What is an Internal Customer?

internal customers definition

The Difference Between Internal and External Customers   Several years ago, I was asked a very simple question: “Who is your customer?”   Perhaps I was naïve, or maybe just ignorant, but I replied to the simple question with an equally simple answer: “The people who pay our company money for our products and services.”  He clearly expected my response, because the

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How To Run A Meeting In China and Manage Your Customer

running a meeting in china

15 REAL Tips for Working in China   Having returned from a trip to China earlier this week, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some learnings about how to conduct meetings and work with your customer in the People’s Republic.  Despite some concerns and disagreements before our arrival, my team was made up of several veterans when

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16 Tips for New Project Managers

Dealing with Challenging Projects

When I became a project manager, the first thing I did was print out a bunch of documents, the Statement of Work, some spreadsheets with basic financial information and put it all in a well-organized 3-ring binder.  Beyond that, I didn’t know what I was doing.  So I just got down to work.  That was 20 years ago and since that time, I’ve learned a

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Negotiating in China: 11 Essential Tips to Securing Business

contracts in china

Navigate the Challenges of Contract Negotiations in the People’s Republic   A Fortune 200 executive once told me “No CEO wants it on his or her watch that they missed out on China.” It goes without saying that the world’s largest marketplace is a force to be reckoned with. Having recently returned from a trip to China as part of some large

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How to Develop a New Process

Sample Process Map and Spaghetti Diagram

The 7 Rules of Process Development and Implementation   You’ve got a great product, friendly customer service, happy customers and cash.  What’s missing?  An often forgotten ingredient to a well-run business is the development and implementation of processes that serve as the backbone for a company.  Developing effective processes makes your internal activities repeatable and consistent.  And the more stable your operation, the more

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7 Types of Capture Strategies That Help You Win

types of capture strategies

A Good Capture Strategy is More Than Just a Good Price Last week, I sat through a disappointing capture strategy meeting.  The sales manager responsible for the territory was presenting a new proposal to the management team and walked us through the opportunity.  Financially, the business case looked good.  The level of risk seemed low, and the proposal was for a customer

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The Art of the Executive Summary

Executive Summary

How to Create an Executive Summary Raise your hand if you have ever sat through a presentation and walked away not understanding its message.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever asked an employee to give you a project briefing, only for them to bury you in data, facts and graphics.  Finally, raise your hand if you’ve ever picked up

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From the Front Lines: The Lifecycle of a Crisis

Crisis Management Process

Managing Crisis in the Workplace None of us had any idea that it was the first day of what would become a 10 month, $25,000,000 investigation. It was late in the afternoon on a cool fall day when the Quality Assurance Manager and the Operations Manager came to my office with a concern over a product defect that had been

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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Writing a Winning Response to an RFP

managers resource handbook

How to Gain an Edge in the B2B Space When it comes to doing business between companies, typically referred to as business-to-business, or B2B, most opportunities and contracts are generated through a process of bid solicitation.  Companies looking to contract services or support will often issue what is known as a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek information from various companies and

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5 Business Cases for Justifying an Increase in Headcount

Employee Performance Reviews

    One of our most popular articles here at MRH described one approach to justifying an increase in your staff level.  Fighting for resources is a problem we’ve all dealt with as managers and one that can be extremely frustrating to overcome. So, I wanted to take the topic one step further and give you some more tools and

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The 7 Steps to Mastering Technical Design Reviews

preliminary design review

    When it comes to the product development cycle and a phase gated design process, holding robust technical design reviews is critical to a project’s success. While there are various types of design reviews that lend themselves to different types of technologies and industries, the most common and universal examples include the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR). If

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Demystify Project Estimating with 3 Simple Steps

How many times have you been asked the question “It’s going to take you how long?” when you present a basis of estimate for a given project?  Regardless of whether it is your customer or a fellow manager, the conversation is often the same.  As the expert who is scoping the project, your expectation is that it will require a significant

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BLUFing Your Communication at Work

managers resource handbook

  How to Present Information to Your Target Audience We’ve all experienced it.  We ask for an update and our employee who sits just three offices down writes you an email that takes you 20 minutes to read.  Assuming you read it.  One of the most difficult parts about being a manager is explaining the importance of audience to employees.  The concept of

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Managing Project Risks: Allocating Funds, Not Just Numbers

In a week long project review meeting recently, an executive asked “Why am I writing this check?  We don’t have the money.”   He was referring to the fact that as part of a partnership with a customer, we had to increase funding for the project by $6 Million dollars.   No one likes writing a large check that they didn’t expect.   It doesn’t matter if

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