When Good Proposals Go Bad

Posted on April 1, 2008 by LCT Magazine

By Jim A. Luff

I recently shared with you my quest to land a casino account. More specifically, I asked if I should call to follow up on my recent proposal sent in response to an RFP (request for proposal).


I decided to call even if it meant being a bug. I had to know where we stood. I got the dreaded voicemail. I left a message but received no return call. I called another day. Still, no return call! At this point I became a little obsessed with what happened. I mean, I want to be kicked out of the sandbox or be invited to play. I want a line drawn in the sand with “yes” or “no.” You can’t just leave me hanging.


Time to get to work. I call the casino. I was persuasive enough to obtain the guy’s cell phone number. I nervously dialed it. I used a line other than my own to prevent Caller ID from displaying our company name. He answered. I asked if he had an opportunity to go over my proposal. He said he did and that he had decided not to use our company. I was a little stunned, but yet had a feeling there was a reason why he was avoiding my calls.


I decided to ask what company he decided to use. Surprisingly, he said he had decided on none. He said that one reason he was not using us is that we had “aligned” ourselves with another competing casino in the region. He said he did take the time to view our website and found our casino package that promoted a competing casino in another city. Oops! He felt this would make it hard for our people to make a recommendation if we already had a package with another casino on our website.


He then went on to tell me that they are now working with their advertising agency to find a limo service that would more than meet their needs. I asked who their advertising agency was. Once I learned that name, I had to call someone who I know is friends with the owner of the agency. She is now calling the agency to see what their involvement is with the casino. This is no longer a quest. It is a mission. I will land this account eventually.

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