As any organisation knows, one size does not fit all: clients have different needs and companies must respond to this to deliver the best customer experience. Likewise, when tendering for work, businesses need to tailor their offer to their prospects’ requirements.
It’s always good to have a face-to-face relationship with prospects and to keep leads warm. That way, you may be invited to tender when the contract comes up. Knowing the prospect well will mean that when the time comes to submit a tender, bid or proposal, you can:
- Gain insights into what they are looking for
- Shape your offer to help them reach their goals
- Articulate your value proposition to meet their needs
- Differentiate yourself from the competition
- Describe why your business is the right fit for them
However, if you don’t have a prior relationship but do have the opportunity to tender, now is the time to learn all you can about the prospect.
Attend the briefing
Clearly, it is imperative to attend the Request for Tender (RFT) or Request for Proposal (RFP) briefing, if there is one. Here the prospect will outline the need that they have. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself, ask questions and begin to plan out your offer.
Your submission should reiterate your understanding of the prospect’s requirements. Its focus should be on how your business will address their needs. Therefore, you are not just presenting yourself as a great business, but one that will be the right partner for the tenderer.
Use your network
Industry contacts may prove helpful in finding out more about the organisation. You may be able to find out what is important to key decision makers, or what suppliers they have used previously and what their experience has been. Find out why the prospect is issuing this tender request. Gaining inside information will help you target your response appropriately.
Much useful information can be found online, and an organisation’s website is a great place to start. Annual reports are especially useful. Here you can find their value proposition and figure out how you can align yours to theirs. There may also be media releases that you can read to find out what is happening in the organisation, or video clips of key personnel that will show what is important to the prospect. Annual reports or other formal documentation can also help you ascertain their immediate needs and future goals.