05 Jun Tendering Top Tips for SMEs
SMEs can do more to help themselves win bids
In a lot of self-help books and fluffy Instagram memes, much advice given is about asking the right questions. Our blog reveals how this holds true in preparing for bids or tenders
Here’s our top tendering tips for Medium to Small Enterprises.
- Be selective. There are a large range of tenders that we identify for clients and one needs to resist the temptation to treat this as a ‘volume’ exercise. Don’t bid for everything – make sure that the opportunity is winnable for you. It also needs to deliverable and profitable for your business model. You don’t want to waste time and effort.
- As far as is possible, put yourself in your client’s shoes. Identify the client’s specific needs and not what you may think they need. Getting to know their business as much as you can will help you to think from the client’s perspective. This will identify what it is they need and how can this be tailored with your own product offering
- There will be a wide range of questions to be answered in any bid. Don’t be tempted to cherry pick and come back to the tougher questions. Answer the questions in the order they are presented. This makes the process less daunting and more methodical
- Just ask. It’s likely that there will be questions your team raises that you can’t possibly answer. Seek clarification from the client to get the details correct. This often reveals an insight that may be missed, and it demonstrates you are diligent and prepared to engage to learn more about their needs
- Your business may be one of a number serving your segment or industry. But the way your business is structured, your team and expertise is different. It’s unique. So, find the unique selling proposition in relation to what’s being sought and use this to separates you from the crowd, and to stand out and reflect your strengths
- Pay attention to the ‘way it’s said’. Substance is very important. So is form. Be consistent with text styles, formatting and layout. Share the document with others and task them to read it with different ‘filters’ in mind. One to proof read, one to fact check, one for consistency, etc. This sets a professional tone
- Linking the offering benefits with clear pricing to help draw the buyer to conclude there is real value. Don’t make any assumptions, spell it out. Get the price right – a fine balance between your margins, what the market will bear, what your competitors are likely to set the price at, and other factors. Clearly laid out fees and justification thereof will help to punch home your pitch
- Step out of the box. Be imaginative and creative. The buyer is human and will respond to a unique and relevant approach. Don’t assume the bid needs to be conservative and linear. Mind-maps, graphics and images will set you apart, and just may bring your bid closer to the buyer’s sense of intrigu
- Your customers love you, don’t they? Ask your clients to share the love by writing testimonials. Then apply the best of the best in pull-quotes to dynamically showcase your business and the relationships you have nurtured.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. If you don’t make the cut, there will be other opportunities. Don’t waste the opportunity to get valuable intel on your bid. You have nothing to lose, so asking why you did not go through to the next level or win the bid, you will gain valuable insight for the next bid – no matter where or when it happens next. The strengths and weaknesses perceived by clients may be different from yours, allowing you to address these next times.