Your probability of winning (Pwin) has very little to do with fate or chance. Hope is a poor strategy for your must-win opportunities. Instead, develop a plan using proven tactics to help you win. Show the customer you understand their needs and demonstrate that you have a clear solution to their problem.
Here are a few simple ways you can improve your Pwin.
Move to a favored position during opportunity planning.
Because the customer’s view is the only relevant view, your aim as the seller is to progress from an unknown (or less known) situation to a preferred standing in their eyes. Position the customer to prefer your organization and your solution to the exclusion of competitors, or to at least prefer to do business with your organization prior to submitting your proposal.
To move from an unknown to a known position, research the market, interact with the customer, and analyze your findings. To move to an improved position, develop your strategy and tactics, implement, and validate them with the customer. Attain a favored position by building and strengthening customer relationships to understand their objectives.
Always use customer focus.
Customer focus is a communication trait that many claim, but few convey. What features make one proposal more customer-focused than another?
Too many proposal writers demonstrate their understanding of the customer’s needs by copying a pasting a few paragraphs from the bid request, demonstrating only that they can copy and paste. Numerous studies of buyers have found that while nearly all bidders are technically qualified, the proposal selected was the one that stated the best understanding of the customer’s business.
Strive to mention the customer as many or more times as you mention your organization. By using the customer’s name more than your own, you increase the customer’s engagement and connection to your message.
Be clear, concise, and correct.
Customers interpret proposals and other business development documents as representing your best effort. If they find errors, they may doubt the accuracy of the rest of the proposal. Consult references to ensure the facts, historical references, arithmetic, or background information you include in your proposal are true.
Make sure your message is clear, bold, and obvious. Tackle the major issues of organization, customer focus, and strategy first. When reviewing for clarity, attempt to be so clear in what you write that you cannot possibly be misunderstood.
Edit paragraphs, sentences, and words to your text is as compact and efficient as possible. Paragraphs should be short and easily digestible. Eliminate everything that doesn’t directly support the purposes of the proposal.
Don’t underestimate the value of correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Dozens of tactics help improve your Pwin, but this list is a great way to get started. There is no game of chance. Using these tactics clearly shows the customer you have a solution that can meet their needs, and positions you to win more business.