Tender Document Essentials 1: How can I improve my chances of winning a tender?
Sales leads can get you a foot in the door, but you still
have to win the work. If you’re looking to improve your win rate on the tenders
you’re submitting, here are some things you might want to consider:
- Are you reaching the key decision maker? Ask early about who
is making the final decision and make sure you’re talking to the right person.
- Is your tender comprehensive? Deliver a high quality, fully
detailed tender document that is impossible to ignore.
- Add value through your tender – add cost savings in an
appendix, or state that you’re open to negotiation. Distinguish yourself as a
firm that’s on the client’s side.
- Make sure you’re submitting on time, or a day early. Nothing
damages a reputation like being late! If you have to file late, at least tell
the architect when to expect your price.
- Be honest if you can’t do it – sometimes you’re halfway
through the process before you realise the job’s not for you after all. Let the
architect know straight away, so they can get another builder to tender.
They’ll appreciate the honesty and remember it next time.
- Check receipt and say thank you – when you submit your
price, call and check that it’s been received, and say thank you for the
opportunity. Gratitude goes a long way in construction and will predispose the
architect towards you.
- Call back – a week later, call back and ask about your price
and where you stand. Confirm your willingness to look at cost reductions or
negotiate as necessary.
- Stay involved – architects, clients and Quantity Surveyors
appreciate builders who show genuine interest. Help out if they need cost
savings or re-pricing.
- Lose graciously – everyone loses more tenders than they win
(if you win one in four you’re doing fine). Wish them well with the job, find
out who did win it and then ask about the next job coming out to tender.
See beyond the job in front of you – you’re not just chasing
jobs, you’re building a relationship with a work provider. Over the next few
years, that could pay you returns worth millions of pounds.
This article was kindly contributed by David Crick, MD of Contractors Marketing Services. You can read more in The Really Useful Guide To Construction Sales or see their construction sales special offers here.