It doesn’t matter if your company is a Fortune 1000 powerhouse or an independent agency that utilizes contractors as new projects arise — any business can win a new client when they have the right services, a capable team, and the resources to fulfill the business’s needs.
Sure, having more funding can help secure all of the above, but staying competitive doesn’t always depend on cash flow. Here are five tips to help your company stay competitive when bidding on new business.
1. Participate in Pre-Bid Activities
A quality proposal is obviously an important factor in being a competitive bidder, but before the RFP even comes in, there are ways to make yourself a competitive vendor.
Get to know your prospective customers and let them get to know you before the proposals are printed. That can include formal activities like completing an RFI (request for information) or RFC (request for comment) and introductory meetings in their office.
Additionally, informal client entertainment events can make you stand out from the competition. When a client gets to know you as a potential partner in person, your chances of winning a project increase.
2. Do Your Research
One way to beat out the competition is to be smarter than the other companies vying for the same business as you. Don’t worry — a Mensa level IQ isn’t what makes someone smarter when bidding on new business.
What makes your company smarter and helps you stay competitive is the level of preparation you put into an RFP. Your proposal presentation needs to not only answer the questions asked in the request, but go above and beyond to show that you understand the purpose of the assignment, the history of the company, and what your work can do to change the course of their business.
How? Research, research, research. A Google search is great, but your clients will be impressed by how much you know about their executive team, the goals of the company, and how the industry is changing. Stay one step ahead of your competitors by knowing (and acting on) more information.
3. Utilize On Demand Print Solutions
As digitized as the world is today, printing RFPs and putting them directly into the hands of your prospects can make you more competitive and your print proposal more compelling.
Research shows that hard copies of documents, from print brochures to RFPs, have a higher ROI than digital copies alone. Having an online proposal is important, but make sure you print and ship proposals to your prospects to stand out.
On demand print services make it easy to create professional rfp documents online. Online print platform Mimeo even has a printing rfp template to take additional stress out of the RFP printing process.
When you use Mimeo as your online print company, you’ll have even more time to print and ship your presentation proposal. Sometimes having just a few extra hours can make the difference in how prospective clients view your work versus your competitors. On demand printing platform Mimeo gives customers up until 10pm EST to upload, edit, and send their RFP to print if they need it delivered by 8:30am the next day.
4. Give Discounts — But Do So Strategically
For some clients, the lowest bidder wins. But for ones that truly care about their company and their product, they want the work to be the best possible — even if it means spending a little bit more within their budget.
You may be tempted to give deep discounts to try to beat the competition, but it won’t necessarily help you win the right bids. Instead showcase your value, skills, and dedication to the work to explain your worth.
When considering which discounts to give, think about costs that won’t affect your bottom line. Like discounts for longer-term prepaid partnerships or adding bonus services that weren’t included in the initial RFP as value add-ons.
5. Be Ready to Start
If you win a bid but can’t deliver on your client’s expectations, don’t expect to win future business from them.
Being competitive means staying competitive. And if you’re competing for business from companies in the same industry, but fail to meet expectations on one contract, your reputation could take a beating for years to come.
That’s why the final tip to staying competitive is to be prepared for projects to come your way — and if you’re not ready yet, it’s ok. Be choosy about the projects you want to and can work on, so you can showcase your skills and be a leader in your industry.
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