A TRUE STORY FROM MY DAYS MARKETING FURNITURE MADE IN PRISONS
I was up in Alaska meeting with various contracting officers when I got a call from Washington D.C. A very large bid totaling over 2 million dollars was due in five days and needed my attention ASAP.
In order to be able to submit a proposal I needed the bid package. Without it I was out in the cold, so I asked the home office to overnight the package to me and I headed back to Seattle that evening. Let’s face it. Snagging a $2 Million order would be a big deal and I was excited.
When I came into my office the following morning, instead of seeing the FedEx package I expected, over 100 pages had been faxed to me and were strewn all over my desk and floor. What now? I immediately put everything together and sent a copy to my assistant down in California. It was nothing short of a miracle, but five days later we had just made the deadline and I was ready to present pricing on our bid to the local Seattle agency.
I arrived at the agency that had requested special bid pricing, I was informed that the bid was not for the agency in Washington State, but for the same agency in Washington, DC! The Home office sent the bid package to the wrong account manager.
We’d worked our butts of to meet that deadline, and needless to say the Washington, DC account manager got the bid package way too late. Everyone involved was really bummed out. We were tired, upset and, worse yet, we had lost a 2 million dollar opportunity because someone in the home office didn’t know the difference between Washington State and Washington, DC. Wonder who their geography teacher was. Give the teacher a “D.”
PS : To add insult to injury, we found out later that our pricing beat out all the other dealers, and it was likely the deal would have been ours. Because we did not have our bid to the correct office in time our commissions and large manufacturing orders were lost.
That should give you a little idea of where we got some of our ideas for this book. We didn’t use this one, but I’m sharing it with you.