5 Questions to ask your tender consultant – before you engage them

We often come across clients who are looking to engage a consultancy to support their tender activity. Often, they are unsure how to make a judgement who to engage and the questions to ask.  Often, it comes down to price. Unfortunately, the actual content, process, consultant experience and outcomes are often ignored.

To some degree this is understandable. But, if you want to have a half decent chance of winning your contract you do need to delve a little deeper. The engagement process can be complicated and you will want to ease your journey as much as possible. Of course price is important, but why invest money possibly knowing that there is to be little or no outcomes.

So, here are our top 5 issues to consider:

  1. Does the consultant focus on outcomes?

If you employ a consultant to help you with your tender submission, one of the most important outcomes for you is – the outcomes. Not the inputs, not the benefits, what we need to see is the value based on outcomes.

So, with this in mind what outcomes as opposed to inputs is the consultant offering you?

Typically, the consultant will concentrate on cost, saying that they offer good value for money. Value however, is no good if you don’t get the support you need, and more importantly the experience you need for your bid. How often have you paid less for a product or service only to find it didn’t hold up, or give you what you thought it would? In a commercially profit driven world outcomes are so vitally important.

  1. Do they share the same values about your business as you do?

Understanding your business and understanding what you do is so important. Every business has a different offer to give a buyer. You will need to have consultancy support that understands your needs as well as those being requested by the buyer.

If your tender consultant doesn’t really understand your values then they can’t be expected to do their best for you. This is the difference between winning or not. What you and your business stand for are not just words on a piece of paper, they are real values that need to be properly explored within a tender response.

  1. Is their strength NOT to disengage from you?

Disengagement is a fairly negative term. But in our professional world, we aim to help the client to stand on their own in respect of their tendering activity.  We have clients who tell us that the relationship they have with us is seen as long term engagement. We see this as a positive outcome of our engagement with a client. Of course we are always happy to be there for clients supporting their tender processes.

But imagine a situation where we empower a client to eventually be self-sufficient. Where they learn and apply that learning to the tendering environment. We empower them to be self-fulfilled and able to build staff teams to compile, respond and win contracts. We love this scenario as we are jointly consultants and business coaches.

Disengagement in this situation is very positive and unless a client requires some other type of service or support, we aim to get the client in this space. A tendering consultant that intends to tie you in means they do not operate in the best way for you. They may view you as a long term income generator, not a success story for their engagement process.

  1. They don’t intend to create the best for you and your business!

Let me emphasise the word ‘create’ here. The mark of a consultant, and this includes those in the tendering space, is their ability or desire to create solutions that resolves your challenges and problems.

At BIZphit, we see this as a challenge and issues we have to solve to provide a complete long term solution, not just giving you a temporary fix. What we hope you see are tender consultants that provide a series of components that fix your problems. We don’t place sticking plasters over your problems that provide a temporary fix for now.

With a tender consultant you need somebody that will spend time with you to understand the problem and look to provide a longer term fix and to recommend longer term solutions, not tie you in to support forever.

  1. They can substantiate their claims to be good

When we look at consultancies generally, we see loads of well written glowing testimonies for products and services. In reality, you have to ask yourself is there actually any depth to the recommendation or is it just fake!

The considerate and bonafide tender consultant will want you to feel really happy and secure in the knowledge that you are being supported by experienced professionals.

When looking at outcomes and wins, ask to talk to a couple of clients of the consultant. That way you can ask questions that are relevant to and for you. For us, if a potential client asks us if they can speak to a client we’ve already worked with, then this is because they want to make sure the fit and claims we make are bonafide.

At BIZphit, we love potential clients to talk to our clients, because clients can add much more credibility to our business and us than we ever could.

So, armed with some of the above information you should be able to ask pertinent questions of your tender consultant. Do make sure you have at least a half decent chance of winning your next contract.

If you need any further support on this, then please do contact us.

Categories: Tender Preperation, Tendering Tips

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