Atlantic City. N.J.—The Minority Limousine Operators of America (MLOA) held a meeting at the Chauffeur Driven Show in Atlantic City on November 4 for an informative discussion on request for proposals (RFPs).
MLOA President Maurice Brewster of Mosaic Global Transportation welcomed the members and reminded them that there are many opportunities with large private and corporate enterprises that aim to do business with minority-owned companies. Brewster then gave the floor to Arthur Messina of Driving Results, who moderated an expert panel discussion on how to take on RFPs, led by Lenore D’Anzieri of Driving Results, Darrell Anderson of A National Limousine Service, and Sean Duval of Golden Limousine International.
The panel explained that companies release RFPs as an invitation to other companies, government or corporate, to competitively bid to sell their services—essentially making it clear what that company desires and specifically how those bidding companies can fulfill those needs. The panel also explained that to receive RFPs, companies should go onto other companies’ supplier lists and develop relationships with them—perhaps by networking at local, national, and international business travel associations (BTAs).
“It still is about who you know,” said Duval. “And it’s not even so much as getting out on a golf course with a guy who can make these decisions. You need to talk to a decision-maker in a company and try to create these relationships.”
The panel also recommended that you stay away from blind RFPs, or ones that are unsolicited or from other companies with no history with you, as they are usually a way of price checking a deal they already made with somebody else. Furthermore, companies should make sure they don’t get labeled as nonresponsive to RFPs as that will likely ruin opportunities for business.
“If you don’t do this,” Brewster said humorously at one point about responding to RFPs, “I’ll continue to take business in your area.”
The session ended with a series of questions from members for the panel as well as a thankful gesture from Brewster, who concluded that the next MLOA meeting would be a workshop on becoming minority certified.
Visit mlooa.org for more information.