Tendering is an important skill, particularly when selling to large corporates. It is not simply a question of marketing resources; a small value-added reseller can be successful if it handles the tender intelligently.
First, decide whether you want the business; otherwise you may put in a lot of effort chasing business you are unlikely to win. Chase margin, not revenue.
Most tenders, if you do them properly, will take a lot of time and involve you having to discuss sensitive information about your business with your potential client.
Ring up the company, acknowledge receipt and let them know you are interested.
The process starts from the moment you are asked to take part. Throughout the process, your main focus should be on making contact and building relationships.
Here are the 10 most important considerations when tendering.
- Empathy The importance of establishing a rapport with prospective clients cannot be underestimated. You must understand the target business and be sensitive to the personal objectives of the decision makers.
- Helpfulness Decision makers want evidence that their prospective business partners will be prepared to go the extra mile in serving them.
- Hunger Prospective clients want to feel that their business is important to the firm they choose, and that they will always be treated as a high priority. It is vital to show enthusiasm.
- Leadership Your team leader must be genuinely committed to working with the prospective client and must show that he or she has authority and the respect of the team.
- Teamwork Everyone in the team should have a defined role and must show that they can work together.
- Management skills The way in which the proposal is managed will be taken as an indication of how the project itself will be handled.
- Credibility The team's credibility will rest on the experience and track record of its members. But the team's behaviour during the proposal process can also affect credibility.
- Expertise Demonstrate relevant expertise by referring to experience, skills and knowledge.
- Resources and infrastructure The company should demonstrate that it can offer the resources and back-up to complete the contract.
- Value for money It is vital to get the pricing right.
Finally, speak to the business directly so that you can tailor your tender document to its needs.
Nitin Joshi is a partner at accountancy and business advisory firm PKF.
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