The Signposted Path to Winning Hearts and Minds

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My suggestion for a ‘successful quick win’ begins with stepping onto a newly laid path with every tender that you are pursuing.

Empathy base point

The first step of that path comes from the base point of empathy with the client – listening to their project requirements, understanding their desired outcomes, and partnering with them to deliver their long-term objectives.

The two-way street

Once the buyers’ tender documents have landed, the empathic element should remain. This can be done by asking relevant questions of the tender requirements, e.g., has the client asked a certain question to mitigate a particular concern or risk for themselves? This illustrates that signposting can work both ways, with the client providing direction for you to carry on your journey with the tender.

Walking the winning path

The signposting will be become more literal once you start responding to the tender. Procurement departments potentially have a lot of supplier tender responses to read and assess. As such it is important to make their review of your submission as enjoyable an experience as possible. This can be achieved through signposting as follows:

  • Clear, structured responses, ensuring that key requirements are addressed, and that the question is fully answered
  • An easy-to-follow format with relevant images, tables and infographics that add value to the whole submission
  • Full compliance with the specified requirements, including maintaining word limits
  • Supporting evidence to illustrate your organisation’s ability to deliver the project and showcasing to the buying authority that you are the supplier of choice

Considering signposting at every step of the tender lifecycle may not guarantee a winning outcome. However, it does create a robust framework for how to approach a tendering exercise. The approach can be continually built upon, with the distance of the path extending regularly. We have learnt from clients through feedback and relationship building exercises that if one bidding path is blocked, there is always an opportunity to create a new route.

This article was written by Isabella Stevenson.

Bella started her career in bids over 14 years ago working for a recruitment consultancy co-ordinating their EMEA-wide bid submissions. For the last 10 years, she has worked as a Bid Manager, mainly within the EV infrastructure and built environment, but also in sectors as diverse as facilities management, security and dentistry.

She enjoys collaborating with technical teams via workshops and review sessions to build win themes, install best practice and develop creative thinking to win more contracts and help organisations meet their business development objectives.

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