Over the past few articles we have covered how to find business clients, the preconditions associated with these business deals and how to secure them. Now it is time to talk about how to get the best out of the tendering process, and how to win an unfair share of competitive bids, which sometimes come into play even on small assignments.
Understanding the prospect, and playing to his or her mindset, is critical if you are going to be successful. We will talk about writing and presenting bids in future articles, but at this stage it is helpful to focus on the preparatory stage i.e. preparing for an exploratory or fact-finding meeting.
It will be helpful to keep in mind the attitude and mindset of the prospect, and whilst each situation will inevitably differ, there are certain steps on the path to assent which will apply most of the time:
- Letting prospects know that they are important and that their business is important to you.
- Appreciating that they have an existing point of view which needs to be respected.
- Convincing them that you have a solution or idea that can help them.
- Outlining the
- Reinforcing how the idea will help and make a genuine difference.
- Giving them the time they need to make a buy decision themselves.
You will not necessarily complete all these stages at one meeting, but it helps to keep them in mind as you build your picture of the prospect and his or her world.
The evolution of the relationship you are trying to build with the prospect – and remember people buy people before they buy a product or service – may look something like this:
- A meeting is agreed.
- A relationship is established.
- A conceptual agreement on outcomes is reached – this will include objectives, how to measure progress, and the value to the buyer’s business.
- A proposal is crafted and presented.
If you keep this evolution in mind it may help you to come up with an effective tendering process capable of successful replication.
Next time we will look at writing a bid and the ten top tips for doing this effectively to get the best results. Don’t miss it!