Continuous Learning and Improvement: The Secret Recipe for Winning Bids

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There are (too) many factors involved in a successful bid – but what one thing has been a constant presence and enabled me to win more over the 24 years of my bidding career?

Continuous learning and improvement stand out as the secret ingredients that helped me win more bids. My investment in learning and development is the one factor that has paved the way for more wins. In my experience, it empowered me to:

  1. Be agile: Our client needs, services, and products are constantly evolving. Continuous learning allowed me to adapt bid strategies to meet changing market demands. Staying informed ensured that bids remained relevant and competitive. The past six months my development has focused on learning everything there is to learn about the Procurement Act 2023. The six months previously I was trying to get my head around how AI is going to affect winning bids. And it goes on…
  2. Incorporate best practices: Learning from past experiences and industry best practices is crucial for success. By continuously seeking out and incorporating lessons learned from previous bids, I have refined my approaches and avoided repeating mistakes. This increases the likelihood of success in future bids.
  3. Expand my knowledge: Attending APMP conferences and other events, I made new connections, learned about topics I didn’t know I should have known and benefited from other bid professionals who shared their knowledge with me.
  4. Become a more rounded individual: Finally, when I talk about continuous learning, I am not just talking about bid-specific learning. Understanding myself has been the best investment as a bid professional that I could make. Knowing my weaknesses and strengths allowed me to work better with colleagues, partners, and clients. Over the years, I’ve applied learning gained through unrelated fields like neurolinguistic programming, leadership and management, mentoring, negotiations, sign language, martial arts, emotional intelligence, and empathy training. Each of these disciplines provided me with nuggets of brilliance or wisdom I could apply to my day job, helping me win more bids.

By embracing a culture of lifelong learning, we can adapt to changing landscapes, refine bid processes and strategies, and differentiate ourselves from competitors. We need a multitude of skills to win bids, not just bid-related skills. As bid professionals, we are people providing solutions to other people. Embrace the journey to continuous learning or ignore it at your peril.

This article was written by Rita Mascia.

Rita’s journey into the world of bids and proposal started while working for an award-winning language and culture business organisation. Rita is a bid professional with 24 years of experience in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Her expertise in the bid cycle includes business development, capture, bid management, bid writing, and contract negotiations. Her passion lies in leading teams to win business by producing persuasive proposals that deliver what they promise.

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