Saturday, 16 June 2012

Problems with invitation to tender and being asked to provide your ‘best quotes’

Problems with invitation to tender and being asked to provide your ‘best quotes’: by Jason Li 2012 ©

Many businesses love to have prospects contact them with an enquiry either for an invitation to tender or being asked to provide your ‘best quotes’.

The great thing about this is that your lead generation system or referral system is doing a very good job...

Tell me which business does not want to have incoming leads from people ready to buy?

One of the main reasons sales people like to be asked to provide your ‘best quote’ is that it’s a lot less effort than cold calling, less painful than getting rejection; easier than having to start at a gatekeeper and work your way up the company hierarchy; or even better, save prospecting time as you have the interest of one of the decision makers contact you so you think the prospect is really interested.

So at this point you may be thinking... in order to succeed... all I need to do is know ‘how to tender’.

However, there are many reasons why incoming leads do not convert into orders.

Latent needs

These are needs, problems, pains that the prospect has in the business which they might not know exists.

Or in a lot of cases, the problem is already there, the prospect knows the problem is there, but the prospect has been able for a long time to cope without doing anything about it and put off solving the problem.

Think of a pain like the internet has constant down time or the courier takes ages to book, but just not enough of a pain to do anything in the past...but you do find it bugs you.

In many instances, the prospect is alerted by a business that the latent need is important to sort out, and then it becomes a business problem. But it’s not even at this stage you will get asked by an incoming lead.

Needs analysis and rapport

Your competitor who has contacted the prospect and brought forward the business problem will have been given a lot of consultative time to analyse the need. If they have done this correctly, then your industry competitor will have a very good understanding of the need and built up rapport with the prospect.

At this stage, your competitor will know the decision makers, have a feel about how the prospects’ business operates, and the prospects will start to trust your competitor for their expert advice: they did show the prospect there is a business need after all!

Engineer the vision

Even when your prospect has agreed to a consultation, the prospect is still not contacting you yet. Your competitor will be working on how the prospect wants the results to look like so that they are investing their time and money wisely.

Your competitor with this rapport can help the prospect engineer the vision, to help the prospect see your competitors’ product as the right product to solve their problems and how it works seamlessly in the business successfully

Let’s view the whole of the market

Now that the prospect is pretty happy to go ahead, most professional buyers will check with the whole of the market, just to make sure that what they are about to buy is not out of sync with the market – i.e. they’re not getting ripped off.

So at this stage you FINALLY get asked to tender or ‘asked to quote’, and you get a decision maker from a known company with a decent sized prospective order, and you are feeling really excited.

Only, in reality, your chances are pretty low. Not non-existent, but low.

So what do you do to put the percentages back in your favour?

Big brand

If you are a known brand or a leading player, then use your brand clout and reputation to give yourself a chance. Your aim is to get a fair crack at this, not to just reel off a list of numbers like an order taker; so you want to get commitment to get the decision maker/s to give you time to discuss and consult the prospect properly.

If you are not a big brand or don’t have much reputation in the market, don’t really expect someone to contact you.

You could say:

“As a reputable company we always provide a professional consultation to ensure you get an offer that suits your requirements. What has worked well is for us to provide a consultation regarding your specific needs, just as you might do to provide an exceptional offer to your customers”

Your aim is to create your own way of ensuring that prospects give you a chance to understand their needs so that your offer is a better match than your competitors, and you cannot do this unless you get to know: ‘What is the problem?’

Who is good at blind tenders and converting the ‘best quote’ requests?

Usually very experienced sales people with tender writing skills who have years of experience at both qualifying prospects, gaining commitment, understand the industry and know the competitors who are also likely to pitch to the same prospect. These people have a higher percentage chance of conversation by a blind quote due to understanding from experience what prospects want and what wins the deal.

However, the sales people that have the courage to work on getting decision makers to engage in a proper consultation will usually have a higher conversation rate over the long run... simply because they can tailor an offer that the prospect feels they can see working for them in the discussions.

No comments:

Post a Comment