Just think, for a minute, about what that could mean. We want you to invest your hard-earned capital in something that may never pay you back a single penny. And yet we do.
Are we mad? Desperate? Or is there another force at work?
And what does all this have to do with winning commercial contracts?
What’s your track record?
Notwithstanding the embarrassments of 2007, we continue to trust financial institutions with our money. Past performance is no guarantee, but at least it’s there for us to look at and to guide our decisions. We get a sense of the scale, track record and capabilities of these organisations and we base our decisions on those factors.
Track record, by the way; an interesting racing term meaning the previous performance of a horse or dog on that particular track. Used by punters as a guide when weighing up the odds.
Is yours the 'apparently safe' option?
There’s a cliché in business that ‘nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM.’ Does this mean that hiring a big firm like IBM is a cast-iron guarantee of the success of the project? Clearly not.
What it means is that the known (and trusted) option is the apparently safe and rational choice. ‘Anybody else would have made the same decision.’
And that is the basis on which many contracts are awarded. Make a decision that you can easily defend rather than make the best decision or take a risk.
So, what does this mean for your business the next time you are in the running for a major contract?
Think about how much effort and focus you put into winning the trust and faith of your would-be client. Although past performance is no guarantee, have you provided enough hard evidence of how you have performed on similar contracts to make it a much safer decision to go with your solution?
Can you convince your client that you are the safest choice as well as being the best value option?
And how much are you going to invest in the personal relationships and rapport that will help you win? Have you and your team recognised, learned and practised all of the skills you will need?
And what about my business?
Will working with me help you get better and more confident at preparing and delivering winning pitches? The feedback we gather from our workshops and training sessions tells us that past performance is overwhelmingly strong and that people do feel better equipped and more confident. Which is possibly as good an indicator as you can have that it’s likely to help you in the future too.
Read more about how we support you through the bidding process, building confidence and trust, and increasing your chances of success.