I have personally been involved in positioning, negotiating and winning many projects, particularly in my former CEO and GM years when there was often a “Must Win” project to keep the business ticking, cover overhead, and strategically grow; and over recent years I have helped many of my business coaching clients to similarly position, negotiate and close the deal.
Highlights have included being awarded 'Exporter of the Year' and winning major contracts in the following areas, a truly 'global experience':
Africa, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, India, Malaysia, Mexico,
NZ, Peru, PNG, USA.
So I will share my views, writing from experience, on what I believe are the key factors in positioning, negotiating and closing the deal:
1. Prior to Tender
- Brand development & recognition; so that you come to the table as a known force.
- The 'Holy Grail' - ideally having your product or service specified.
- Developing a Regulatory Strategy, where appropriate - to influence regulatory compliance standards that will benefit your product or service at tender time above the competition.
- Building & nurturing important relationships - with key influencers & decision makers.
- Be abreast of Customer Needs - clearly understand the customers needs and key 'hot buttons' , and ideally 'float' your solutions for a reaction, all ahead of tender.
- 'Know your Enemy' - who & what you are up against; possible counters in your bid approach.
2. Tender Preparation
- Compliant & Alternative Offers - risk assessment & tender 'tagging'; offering alternative ideas/value engineering etc 'to keep the door open' & initiate discussion.
- Highly professional tender documentation - clear, concise, well written, appealing & credible.
- Wary approach to submitting Questions & Answers.
- Costing & Pricing - based on real costs; avoiding 'over engineering; allowing for contingency & negotiating margin.
3. Tender Presentation & Negotiations
- 'Feret' - ahead of formal engagement. How has the tender been received; hot buttons that you are likely to be grilled on; further preparation needed.
- Spanking hot presentation - avoid 'death by PowerPoint! Tailor to expected audience & how they like to engage. For example, engineers often like to touch & inspect physical drawings!
- Who to Front With - your Sales Manager, CEO, GM ... or a team ... who can answer questions on the spot & are empowered to 'close the deal'?
- The Trade - prepare a Negotiating Strategy ahead of the game: Must Have's, Nice to Have's, Straw Men, Walk Away Points. Avoid being 'cherry picked'. Have back up ready to quickly provide further information. Be decisive!
If you are struggling to break the mould and tired with often 'being the bridesmaid' and losing out on tenders/proposals; or you have an upcoming project that is a 'Must Win', then I will be delighted to help!
Give me a call on 0226449775, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you think I have missed anything above, or disagree, then please comment below so we can share our experiences.
P.S You may also be interested in my blogs: Are you truly Market Driven or in your (Engineering) Comfort Zone ? and Sales & Marketing 10 Key Factors before you Get Caught in the Hype