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Cases | 07 April, 2020

5 Ways To Ensure Your Contract Proposal is Awarded

I’ve owned a number of businesses, and I’ve worked with plenty others. In the process I’ve seen numerous contract proposals submitted in a variety of fields with some successful, and others not.

Is there a way to ensure every contract proposal is approved?

Not really, and to be honest sometimes it’s for the best, as service provider’s rarely do any research into whether their prospective client is ideal or not.

Consider you’re in a position to create a proposal for the contract of your career.

I’ve submitted countless proposals, and overseen enough to say that the following five tips will give you a leg up in any tendering process. Let’s get started.

1. Be Prompt in Every Part of the Process

Put yourself in the position of your prospective client. What do you expect from your service providers today?

You want immediate service. You know that old saying, “Time is money”? Well that saying still rings true even with all the advancement over the years.

If we expect our service providers to be available and prompt then does that change when we put work out to tender? Of course it doesn’t.

The next time you’re in the creation of a contract proposal keep in mind you’re being judged in your response time from the initial email or call, to setting up a scheduled call, to sending over the written proposal.

Most experienced clients will be considering that if you’re timely in the bidding process you’ll likely be a punctual service provider, and if you dilly-dally through the bidding process you’ll almost certainly be a leisurely service provider; therefore, losing your prospective client’s money.

Be prompt in every part of the contract proposal.

2. Ask What Their Budget Is

Now for those of you reading whose businesses are on either side of the cost spectrum, specifically the low-cost or the high-cost service providers, this tip may not apply to you. Your costs are in many ways fixed in being the cheapest or most expensive.

For the majority of business owners who have their pricing somewhere in the middle, this tip is crucial in increasing your chances of being awarded contracts.

Without asking a prospective client what their budget is, your bid is very much a speculation, and potentially a massive waste of your team’s time.

Consider you generally price your services somewhere above mid-range. If you don’t ask what the prospective client’s budget is from the beginning you may waste precious time when the prospective client may be seeking the lowest cost producer.

Do your best to ask this imperative question in your first phone call with the prospective client. Yes, phone call ideally. By asking this question over the phone not only will the prospective client be able to hear your tone, but you’ll be able to hear theirs; therefore, better gauging their flexibility on pricing.

In the situation that your cost structure isn’t aligned with theirs; you may have the opportunity to refer them to a competing business that may be a more suitable match. Which leads me to the next tip:

3. Provide Value From the Beginning

Put yourself in the prospective clients position from the beginning. They’re searching your field for the ideal match.

Be a good steward in your industry.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I know for a small portion of readers who are in the hard sales camp this may go against your philosophy, so for everyone’s sake I’ll spell out the clear benefits of being a good industry steward.

Here’s why you have nothing to lose, in the situation that the prospective client is looking for a high-cost, niche service provider, and you refer them to the appropriate business, you lose nothing.

You only want clients that are attracted to your unique selling point anyway.
Provide value and the right clients will come your way, because they’ll respect the value of your experience and knowledge.

4. Provide Relative Reviews or Case Studies

An important piece of criteria for not only business leaders, but even everyday consumers is positive reviews or testimonials.

People want to know plenty of other businesses or consumers are using your service or product and are being left satisfied.

Without boasting, provide the potential client with reviews or case studies for their own piece of mind.

The best place to collect reviews or testimonials is on your Google My Business page. The more positive reviews you receive the higher the search engine will rank you, alongside other algorithms. In addition, people generally have ample trust in Google.

Continue to collect plenty of positive reviews, and provide prospective clients with a link to view them.

5. Include Details of Their Business

Business aside, what’s one of your favourite things to talk about?

Well, it’s probably you. You probably like being acknowledged, understood, and taken care of.

When you create your next contract proposal keep in mind there’s people behind the company on the other side. People that have emotions just like you and I.

If they have to choose between two of the exact same proposals with equally capable service providers, and one of the proposals gives a snapshot into their understanding of the company, who’s being awarded the contract? The latter.

Prospective clients want to feel understood, and acknowledged, just like you and I. They want to know that their service provider has their best interests in mind.

Always include details of the prospective client’s company in the business proposal. Display that you’ve done your homework on their company by customizing the contract proposal to suit their needs.

To Conclude

Take care of prospective clients from the beginning. Put yourself in their position and do your best to tailor your proposal to their needs. If in the process you understand you’re not the best fit then be honest and direct them to a more suitable choice.

If you know you’re the best choice for them, display it by listening to their needs, providing honest answers, and tailoring a contract proposal that gets them excited about working with you.

Provide value and the right clients will come your way, because they’ll respect the value of your experience and knowledge.

Kevin Foreman

President, Black Sheep Business Consulting