Three good reasons why people ask for assistance in putting together a compelling tender response I identified in my last blog. They were:
People who would like to crack the government market, but don’t know how to do so.
People who continually tender for these contracts, but don’t win many.
People who can’t afford to lose a government contract which underpins their business.
In Part One I discussed two clients who fell into the third category.
But what about businesses, and are you one, who fall into either of the first two categories?
In this blog I’d like to introduce a client who falls into the second category.
I have a client, let’s call him Simon (not his real name). Simon bought a local business a few years ago. He steadily improved it, provides a good service and developed a good name; it’s his future.
But there was one bottleneck that held him back from growing much bigger, to a better life at another level. And that was a Government contract. Government were the biggest buyers in his state, and not just in Simon’s field, but in so many requirements for products and services. In each jurisdiction in Australian, the state or territory government is the largest single source of contracts.
Government contracts can be very lucrative. Their contract would provide him continuity of work for 2 – 3 years, certainty of cashflow, reduce his business risk, and build his business to the next level.
The problem was that the contract he would love to win was held by a major interstate competitor, and had been held by them for many years.
Simon had put his toe in the government tendering water a few times, responding to Requests For Tender (RFTs), and never found the process easy. It was always much harder than he thought, with significantly more work, late nights, and stress involved.
He was doing all hard work, but not winning the contract. He felt he was going nowhere, having wasted so much time and effort, and with nothing to show for it.
Maybe you have been this position as well? It is not easy for you. Yet you know that winning contracts like these can give you ongoing, regular work. All you need is the skills to draft a compelling and persuasive response, skills you haven’t had the opportunity to develop.
What happens when THAT Request for Tender crosses your desk?
What are you going to do with it? You know it is going to be a hassle, it is going to be stressful, bureaucratic red tape. And you know the chances are you are not going to win!
There’s an old definition of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result!”
You don’t have to do the same thing over and over again! You can change your skill set, and lift your chances. Constant learning and improvement are the key to success.
I have been writing tenders and proposals since the mid-1970s. As International Marketing Manager at Hawker de Havilland Australia Pty. Ltd. in the mid-to-late1970s I was tasked with bidding and negotiating aerospace contracts with US and British aerospace companies, including winning a major sub-contract that ultimately ran for twenty years.
The problem I had was that, while I had mentoring from those who had been before me, there was no structured training or framework on which to build my responses.
I was always stressed out. I understand the pain you go through when completing major tenders.
But I learnt – I had to, my job depended on it. And I have used what I learnt to help others.
I’ve now been writing government tenders for years since then for my business, plus helping many clients write them, as well as undertaken numerous one-on-one coaching sessions, running webinars on tendering, and conducting Tendering Essentials workshops for many years.
That there are so many business owners like you missing out on sales opportunities, or not able to seize those opportunities simply because they don’t have the skills to write effective tenders in response to requests for tender has bothered me for a long time. Many frequently resort to discounting to win the job.
Yet price can be worth as little as 10% in the overall assessment criteria. So, you may not be winning the contract, even though you may be the cheapest. You may have been undercutting your own prices to get your foot in the door.
If you had understood all the other factors they consider you could have painted yourself in the best possible light.
With my help, Simon won his tender.
Simon worked with me one-one-one – that is great, it can be expensive. As an SME, I’m sure your budget it always tight, and I’m seeking to address that. I wanted to create a product that could reach many more people.
Last year I was again able help a number of people win tenders but I’m looking to continue to create more results on a larger scale. I’ve been working on a course, “TenderWins – The Tender Winning Formula” to help you to develop the skills to submit compelling and persuasive tender responses.
As a small to medium business, this course will give you the skills to:
You can win more – and here is no reason why you shouldn’t do so. Follow the formula I teach, and turn frustration, stress and time into celebration and profits, as clients have. I brought them through the exact steps and skills that I’m going to be teaching.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn the importance of preparation and planning, how to avoid a ME – ME response, how to use a Value Proposition, how to write persuasively, why presentation is important, the role of review, and more.
You will also have the opportunity to learn how to write to reassure and persuade. Bid preparation, tender response, call it what you will, is more than just compliance. Your ability to write effective tenders and proposals is an essential business skill. Despite this, and probably because most businesses, like yours, are built on the technical skills of their owners, it is uncommon.
You will develop the skills to submit well presented, compliant and compelling responses so that you win more tenders, without stress or feeling under pressure. You will learn how to prepare for, analyse and persuasively respond to tender requirements.
It is not just the 5 P structure of Preparation, Planning, Prevention, Pricing, and Presentation.
We learning by doing, not theory. You will work on a practical Case Study, not a theoretical example designed on the basis of “one size fits all!”
Turn pain into pleasure! If you don’t take up this opportunity, what is life going to look like when it comes to that next tender opportunity? Any different?
How many more times do you want to submit a tender without getting the results you want, or need? How much more time do you want to spend over trying to figure this out, when the Tender Winning Formula can give you the answers.
And if you would like to understand more on my approach to tendering go to www.catalysnt.com.au. You might like to download my freebie – “How to Overcome the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Tendering”.
© Copyright 2019 Adam Gordon
Some profit losses are pretty obvious - so you fix them.
BUT, what if you don't know profits are leaking, cash out the door?
Possible leaks could be anywhere.
Are there some clues or symptoms that are tell-tales?