If you receive an invitation to participate in dialogue (ITPD) you will be told what the process is and what the contracting authority is looking to establish at each stage. Make sure that you fully understand these ‘rules’ and that you have planned how you will work within them to present and emphasize your most persuasive arguments and your competitive advantages. There is no opportunity to do this outside of the process. So if you haven’t planned how you can get your message across within the rules, you simply won’t have another chance.
Pick the Right Team
The client’s team will come from many business functions and may have different members at different stages. Each will have their own area of interest and each will have critical points where they need to have confidence in your solution. A range of personalities and a range of interests will be involved in the decision and a diverse bid team will have the best chance of establishing the all-important rapport with the full range individuals in the client team.
And never forget that dialogue means a two way conversation. Active listening skills are vital and you need to allow the client every opportunity to tell you what you need to know.
Get Your Tactics Right
Here’s where coaching can really pay off. Some of the people who need to be involved may not be used to presenting or participating in such formal discussions; much better if they can practise and hone their skills in front of a friendly crowd before entering the arena. Try out different scenarios and try to have somebody impartial around who can give you an honest appraisal of how persuasive your arguments are and how convincing people are being when they make their input.
Keep the Full Squad Engaged
The Game Stops When the Whistle Goes
A typical example would be wasting time talking about costs and prices at the Outline Solution stage. At this point the client is only interested in establishing your technical competence and your understanding of their needs. Be clear that this is the point of this stage of the process and focus on satisfying these points. Anything else will be disregarded, even if it is relevant to a later stage of the process.
Competitive Dialogue is here to stay. And awarding authorities are becoming stricter about how they apply the process. Knowing how to play the game to win will be essential for businesses who want to win complex public sector contracts.
Winning business through bids and tenders is more competitive than ever. Coaching will give your team the edge and win you more business.
Contact: Hugh@thebidcoach.co.uk visit our websitewww.thebidcoach.co.uk or call (01963) 240555
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