In April, I wrote about how buyers attempt to control the purchasing process through the use of spreadsheets, ROIs and RFPs. When handled properly, these tools present an opportunity to have meaningful discussions with HR and benefits managers. Of course, it would be great if buyers would just forgo these methods and work with only you on providing a solution. However, "when going out to bid" is inevitable, what can you do to differentiate yourself?

The tool I am about to talk about is not new. I was first introduced to the concept in the late '80s by one of the best proposal managers I have ever worked with. I have used it repeatedly, in several different industries, since then. The results for me and my sales teams have been excellent. It seems that with each new generation of sales people the concept must be learned anew.

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