Denise O’Leary, Managing Director, Purpol Marketing, gives her top tips for delivering winning bids for construction projects.
How can you win a construction bid?
To win the bid you must play by and understand the rules that have been presented. The procurement method may vary, but whatever has been stated in the supporting documents, you must comply with those rules to have a compliant and valid bid. You should also treat each bid as a bespoke marketing campaign – identify what are the unique challenges for your client and make sure you respond to these. Build in innovation, add value, and show how you will engage with them throughout the process so that selecting your business becomes the easy choice!
What are the ‘golden rules’ in delivering a bid successfully?
Remember that success requires proof! You will need to demonstrate that your business is established with a good reputation, offers a low risk and that you can add value. You will need to confirm that your business is a good fit and provide evidence that you have the resources, expertise and time to meet the buyer’s needs. You also need to understand how your bid is going to be assessed. What is the scoring criteria and marking scheme? Knowledge is definitely power in this situation. Gain competitive intelligence before you start the process.
What are the challenges in winning a bid?
Finding out about the opportunity in the first place can often be challenge. It makes sense to register interest in future procurement opportunities before they are published. Also take advantage of ‘meet the buyer’ events and information days so that you can understand all the subtle nuances of the bid. Sometimes detail may come across in body language and in the question and answer sessions that is not immediately obvious from the bid documentation, and it certainly may give a hint as to the importance of such issues.
How does bidding in the GCC differ from the rest of the world?
Bidding can have common themes but also have regional subtleties. Sometimes it is essential to have a local in-county partner as part of the bid. Sometimes it is OK to have them as part of your supply chain. Localism is often part of the marking criteria as local authorities like to see that their procurement spend is affecting local employment opportunities as well as driving training and investment. Each business always needs to understand the unique requirements of each procurement and make sure that they can comply with the expectations stated.
During your Talk, what will be your key focal point?
I will focus on practical tips that can be actioned straight away, as well as the psychology of the bid process. As a marketing professional I always focus on the messaging and tone as well as graphics to provide evidence for the bid. It is important to understand the benefits that your business will deliver to the client and explain them effectively as they can only judge on the content that is presented to them, even if you already have an established relationship. I will also be sharing insight on how to recover from a lost bid, which is a sad reality in the bidding world. You need to be quite robust to constantly move forward!
How do you plan to engage with your audience?
I love using imagery. My slides will be impactful and are used to enhance the message I am delivering. There will not be lines of micro font text to make the presentation heavy going! There are a few sport, movie and art references that I hope the audience will enjoy. The images are specifically chosen to enhance the points I will be making and make it memorable as well as fun. I also hope that everyone will want to connect with me on social media as well so we can continue to share best practice of bid winning.
Who will benefit the most by attending your Talk?
Anyone involved with bidding or pitching to new or existing clients – business development, commercial and management personnel. It is important to remember that existing clients also want to feel important so an effective bid is also part of your client retention activity. The bid may have several facets including an interview so it is important that the whole bid team contribute to the process.
Summit/Talk: Business Talks
Topic: How Can You Win that Construction Bid?
Time & Date: 12:30 - 13:30, 28 November 2017
Location: Za’abeel Hall 1