Very simply, your strategy is the themes or key messages that you need to convey in your tender response that best demonstrate how you will fulfil your prospect’s needs. Bear in mind that your themes, or strategy, will differ for every tender you write, even if only slightly.
The company to which you are tendering may already know you and your business; it may not. Either way, it wants to know that you understand its challenges, issues or needs. If the company doesn’t know you, you need to alleviate their fears about trying an unproven supplier.
What’s going on behind the scenes?
Why are they issuing this RFT at this time? What issues does the prospect have right now or will be dealing with over the next 12 months? Are there legislative changes afoot? Has there been a change in executive? Have there been takeover offers or rumours? Are new products in the offing? Does the prospect have a deadline for the delivery of your service? Is the prospect experiencing environmental or economic threats?
Or has three or four years passed since the prospect last issued an RFT and they are testing the water regarding costs and suppliers?
Is this the first time the prospect has sought to outsource this type of work? If so, the prospect’s purchasing team or end users of your service will be concerned about making the right purchase decision.
If the prospect has outsourced before, what issues arose for them in dealing with suppliers? If you don’t know, ask the company or ask your existing clients what risks they perceived when hiring you. Also, think about what buying your service is like for your clients. What would you be concerned about if you were buying your service?
Of course, the RFT may set out the prospect’s criteria for selecting a supplier, but read between the lines. Does the RFT hint at unstated needs?
List all the issues and concerns the prospect may have. You’ll gain clarity around what you know about the prospect and how you can influence their decision making by overcoming their concerns.
|Prospect’s concern||Prospect’s need|
|Financial viability of supplier||To be confident that the supplier will be able to complete service|
|Supplier’s ability to meet deadline||Critical event that must be delivered|
|Experience of supplier||To work with supplier that has a track record|
|Prospect’s reputation if project goes badly||Confidence in supplier’s team|
|Value for money and variations||Avoid cost blow outs|