Be a Student of Your Customer

by Steve Anderson

Last May I wrote about the importance of understanding your customer’s organization in a potential service relationship, i.e., how will your customer interface with your organization as you perform work? It’s not only important to get this right to be an effective contractor, it’s essential to winning the work initially. Continue reading “Be a Student of Your Customer” »

Take a Critical Assessment of the Opportunity

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. Except, of course, pursuing the WRONG opportunity – that is a far costlier mistake.

Recognizing which opportunities to pass on is as important a skill as any in your business development (BD) approach. Unfortunately, it is common practice to sift through opportunity announcements looking for requirement descriptions that most closely align with organizational capabilities. I say “unfortunate” because this path usually leads to writing many proposals pursuing opportunities with a low probability of win (Pwin). Without a proper assessment, Pwin is unknown (at best) AND often falsely assumed to be high based solely on the alignment of organizational ability with the published requirements. Ability to meet the job requirements is where many assessments start, but it’s much more important to know IF you can win. Continue reading “Take a Critical Assessment of the Opportunity” »

Going With the Flow(chart): Aligning with the Customer’s Organization

It is important to stand out. It is necessary to demonstrate your unique qualifications. It is vital to show that your company deserves the bid because you can supply something superior — something DIFFERENT than the rest. But, not so different that your proposal alienates its evaluators.

RFPs are released in order to locate a company that can best fulfill a need, i.e., a product or service   that is outside the bounds of a given Government agency’s capabilities, so most sections of your proposal are devoted to selling your company’s distinctive offerings. Yet, there is one section that is your opportunity to strike a necessary chord of familiarity: the Management Volume. Continue reading “Going With the Flow(chart): Aligning with the Customer’s Organization” »

Requests for Information are Your First Opportunity to Make an Impression: The Value of Responding to RFIs

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

Those that wait for a Government solicitation (RFP) to land at their door miss their chance at giving critical input during the early stages of the government procurement process.  Industry feedback advises the Government’s changes and adjustments to RFPs — PRIOR TO RELEASE, perhaps even customizing the solicitation to suppliers who do the job of responding. Continue reading “Requests for Information are Your First Opportunity to Make an Impression: The Value of Responding to RFIs” »

Bidding Jobs: Just Because You CAN Does Not Mean That You SHOULD

Bidding Jobs: Just Because You CAN Does Not Mean That You SHOULD

Swing for the Fences. Just Do It. Go Big or Go Home. These messages to strive for success at all costs work well on bumper stickers but not one of them is worthy of basing your business practices on.

Most times, recognizing a promising opportunity for getting new business involves nothing more sophisticated than having a gut instinct about being right for the job. But, make no mistake, even obviously promising bids need to be carefully scrutinized before proceeding. Continue reading “Bidding Jobs: Just Because You CAN Does Not Mean That You SHOULD” »