Written by Sean McPheat |
It’s obvious why companies go out to tender for work, as it offers them the most benefits with the least work. They know that you will cut your costs to try to beat your competition, and you often do.
What can you do to improve your chances of winning this most difficult of circumstances?
Firstly, gather all information you can about the decision-making process. Who will be involved? Get as close to them as possible and act as a surgeon, asking specific diagnostic questions that will help you achieve your goal of getting the buying criteria clear before you submit.
Then, find out who you’re competing with. You want to give a fair deal, and this knowledge will help you achieve that. It will help you design a bid so the differences between you and your competitors can be highlighted. This gives your decision-maker an easier choice to make.
You also require a summary after the bidding of who won, why and on what terms. This will help your marketing intelligence for future bids.
By the way, if they won’t give you any or all of the above information, think seriously whether you want to bid at all, because it might be indicative of how they will treat you after you win. Are you sure you would want to work with someone who has that mindset? Is it worth the hassle?
Then, when you submit the quote, try to deliver in person so you can explain any specific issues the prospect may have.
If you didn’t win on this occasion;
If you find yourself in competitive bids often, it may be worth talking to your marketing department to create fact sheets and bid sheets that can be personalised for each bid you offer. That way, you are consistent and confident in what you can provide for your prospect. It gives you the benefit of creating special terms for prospects without spending too much time and effort on each one. And that can only be good for business!
Originally published: 13 August, 2010
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