Let’s just take a moment and ask, “…am I really satisfied with the number of bids I win or could I do better?” If the answer is ‘no’ and you want to increase your success in bidding and winning contracts and secure more business then here are some simple, tried and tested and proven techniques you can use to make that immediate change…today!
1. Research your client’s issues and objectives to really understand their business, expectations and, importantly their aspirations. When you dig deep into all the background information you’ll find out and better understand the problem that your client is facing. You can then choose the most appropriate goods or services to help solve it…and if you’ve chosen well you will place yourself ahead of your rivals and show your client how their overall goal for the project will be achieved.
Those of you who read my posts regularly will recognise this as the 3Ps Process and know the importance of taking your client along that journey of discovery…and, if you’re new to us then you can learn more by reading ‘Think Like Your Client Using the 3Ps Process’
2. Have a detailed knowledge of how you will be judged because when you have a clear understanding of the scoring system, and know how and who will be judging your submission you can write specifically to target key points. Your messages can focus on the areas of concern that you will see expressed in the higher scored questions you are asked to respond to…but be careful to respond well to all of them so you don’t lose any marks!
3. I always do a sense check of my bids to make sure that I’ve said right at the front of your proposal “…what’s in it for me…” from my client’s point of view…and then check tat it is repeated throughout the bid.
You’ll instinctively know what you do and how you do it and why your solutions are useful or good for people but if you don’t tell your client then they won’t know. So make sure you make clear, specific, value based statements and show examples of how/where/for whom you have done it before. We have a specific module called ‘Let’s Get SMART’ that tells you how to do this for the best results…and, without any fluff!
4. Use plain English in an easily understandable format- I read many tenders that are hard to read because they use a pseudo-technical approach because the author thinks it makes them sound important. But watch out, because if your audience doesn’t understand you then they will listen to your competitor instead…so, say it simply and use fewer words to get your point across in the way they want to hear.
5. Match your language, wording and response to the tender documentation or the order of importance that your client has used. It is crucial that your potential client feels that you understand them and their issues. They have taken the time to consider how best to communicate with you and if you change this to a different way you risk disconnecting with them and they may fail to understand your messages. Matching and mirroring helps to make that all important connection.
6. Use every opportunity to say why you are the best, how you have done it before and what the client can expect from you- and importantly how you will bring benefit to them. This is not the time to be too English so add a little American spice and say how good you are. Use testimonials to support your examples and even say why your competitors can’t do what you do in the way you do it. This tells your client “…what’s in it for me…”
7. Demonstrate the direct relationship of price to value. I often hear unsuccessful bidders telling me that “…it was already decided…” or “…it was all about the lowest price…” but this is not the case. Procurers are usually audited and must justify their decisions so it is vital that you show how your goods or services will bring value and benefit to your client.
Remember that no one wants anything cheap, particularly if it’s likely to break or not do what it is supposed to. When your client can see the value of your products you can win even if you are not the lowest priced and avoid the possibility of a horse trade!
8. Be aware of the subliminal messages you give out in how your document feels, appears, reads because we use these three of our five senses to make judgements even before we have read a single word. Present your submission in the most appropriate way for your potential, use print quality images, and graphics and text highlights to bring out key messages you want your potential client to get quickly.
It’s important to work out how you want your client to feel when they’ve read your bid and seen how you approach the relationship…this is one of the biggest influencers in their decision making.
9. Be confident and demonstrate how the relationship will make their busy lives easier. Remember the bid is all about them and not you so join the dots to show how your solution will help them to achieve their goal. When you do this you bring an element of trust to the relationship you are building and you place yourself ahead of your competitors.
10. Read the final document carefully from your client’s perspective before you submit it to ensure that it is all about them and how you will help them achieve the aspirations for the project. Check for typos because they stand out and show a lack of care- check for grammatical errors to ensure your submission is easy to read.
Most importantly, if you have used any text from previous submissions, be extra careful to ensure all references are correct and relevant to this project. I’ve seen this happen far too often and the submission will be filed very quickly where you don’t want it to be!
Using this approach will guarantee that you stand out from your competitors because it’s unlikely that they’re doing it.
And, now you can learn these vital skills so they become an intrinsic part of your whole approach to bidding
Our mobile device friendly, online training program ‘Win More Bids’ has been developed for you to use wherever you want. It’s all about learning a range of tried and tested and proven techniques and then going out and using them…the templates, check lists, crib sheets, and memory joggers show you exactly how to use the techniques so you get immediate results. There’s even an Action Step for you to complete to prompt you to start using your skills immediately for the results you want.
Use this 10-Point Plan as a check list on your next bid and if you find that you need to gain some new skills or remind yourself of the key steps to more successful bidding then check out ‘Win More Bids’ for you or your bid team so you learn skills your rivals haven’t bothered to learn.