BD tips and insights

Alternative tenders – show clients what they want

July 30, 2014 | Posted in: Win Tenders Bids Proposals | Tags:

Use alternative tenders as a competitive edge.

In formal bid and tender processes, responses are often constrained by word limits, irrelevant questions, meaningless measures and procurement’s lack of imagination.

So, how can you get a jump on your competitors and not only win, or retain work with a major client, but also end up with a far bigger share than you would otherwise?

As Steve Jobs once said, “ a lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. Many buyers of professional services have unspoken or unrecognised needs that you can fulfil or problems you can solve.

Have you considered getting together a compliant bid and then reaching to offer something extra? Something that will delight, excite and genuinely present your client, or prospective client, with an offer too good to ignore?

Sophisticated consumers will often request alternative or “non-compliant” responses as part of their tender process. For those who don’t, take the initiative and present something as simple as a two-page attachment outlining your “something extra”. You can get to serious costing and implementation detail during the negotiation phase.

Even if it goes no further, at the very least it demonstrates you’ve sincerely thought about what more you can offer that is in the client’s best interest. It may even position you as the favourite.

The “something extra” might involve reducing costs or improving efficiencies for the client, such as:

  • a significant discount on fees in return for getting all work in a particular category or location
  • presenting other costs saving offers
  • adding significant value in other less tangible ways
  • proposing secondments or reverse secondments
  • developing new software to support your client
  • new processes or systems to save time (and money).

Of course, these suggestions rely on your firm having a complete and compliant bid and then the wherewithal, client insight and creativity to develop and articulate some appealing alternatives.

If you need advice or support in using an alternative bid as a competitive positioning tactic, please get in touch.

Select articles

Feature article

Tender writing tips – Nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply

Tender writing tips – Nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply

Remember, nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply Albert Einstein was spot-on when he said “nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply”. Tenders, bids, proposals, and informal pitches for business are not times to show how clever and capable you are by using legalese (I’m looking at you lawyers), […]