17th Sep 2010 AUTHOR: Robert Machin

Strategy: Why Use a Tender Consultant?

Some love 'em and some hate 'em. But consultants can be worth their weight in gold, providing you with valuable expertise and additional resources when you're under pressure.

KEY POINTS

A Tender Consultant can:

  • Provide methods & tools to ease the pain of the tender process
  • Offer you deeper levels of expertise than is feasible to retain in-house
  • Bring a focus to a response that is hard to create internally with business-as-usual looking over your shoulder

The tender response process can be a transformative experience

"Consultare" means "to discuss" from which we also derive words such as consultant and counsel. A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area of expertise.

A consultant is often an expert in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. They usually engage with a variety of clients gaining deeper levels of expertise than is feasible for an in-house resource. Often, an organisation will purchase only as much service from the outside consultant as required for the task in hand.

So Why Would You Use a Tender Consultant?

The prospect of writing has the same effect on some people as mathematics: it can send even the smartest and brightest sales person into a catatonic state. Despite being happy to talk face-to-face with a potential client, sales people often struggle to commit words to paper. In fact, the contemplation of doing so can send them into a spiral of procrastination.

Worse still, the aversion to writing a tender response can lead some to "copy and paste" past work, creating even more problems, such as:

  • Errors: Some minor, others more worrying (e.g. copying other client information - perhaps even a competitor to your prospect)
  • A tendency to focus on their own organisation: usually at the expense of understanding and responding to prospect needs.
  • A lacklustre, uninspiring response. One that "ticks all the boxes" - but totally fails to excite the customer.

This is where a consultant with a wide knowledge from outside of your business can pay dividends. This new perspective can help you to see yourself differently, see yourself as others might and perhaps even challenge your own perceptions about the response itself.

Time and time again we have talked through the tender process with clients who all have the same eureka moment: a tender response is a unique opportunity to showcase the business and can stimulate innovative ways to deliver on the client's requirements.

In fact, we have actually witnessed the tender response process and associated experience completely transform an organisation's attitude. They swing from loathing to excitement - yes, excitement - and then experience a creative drive which results in valuable innovation.

We've even seen this process transform a business as it is forced to re-evaluate its purpose for existing and to reshape itself to meet client requirements. A consultant can facilitate this process and become the guide on this important journey.

What Can a Tender Consultant Do for You?

  • Provide methods & tools to ease the pain of the tender process
  • Offer a fresh pair of eyes and a mind full of expert knowledge - see things you can't see
  • Drive the process while you concentrate on the all-important development of response content
  • Bring a focus to the approach that is hard to create internally with business-as-usual looking over your shoulder
  • Provide market intelligence
  • Offer deeper levels of expertise than exists in-house
  • Access proven specialist resources including graphic design, tender writers etc.
  • Leave behind a legacy of learning to skill the organisation for future tender responses

Not every organisation needs a consultant. Indeed, not all responses can justify the services of a Tender consultant. However, if you need help with a specific tender response, an injection of inspiration to showcase your unique offering or simply a seasoned specialist to get you over the line, it's worth considering using a Tender Consultant. They may well save you money, improve your chances of winning business and leave you with a set of skills and resources that will serve you well for future responses.

robRob Machin is a principal consultant for Tender Success who has been a senior executive and has successfully managed tender responses for more than 25 years. Contact Tender Success to ensure your next response is a success.