- Teaches service providers how to win in competition and retain and expand committed client relationships using the Third Level Selling and Services principles.
- Clients by sector: real estate - Eastdil, JLL, Colliers, CBRE, Avison Young; financial services - Morgan Stanley, GE Capital, Wells Fargo; professional services firms - Baker Tilly, Slalom Consulting, ROI Communications.
- All 7 Best Practices
- Pre-Meeting Discovery Process
- One-on-One Call with Expert
- Meeting Summary Report
- Post-Meeting Engagement
Winning in Competition: Strategies for RFPs and Bake-Offs
As markets mature and competition increases, the perceived differences between you and your best competitors decrease. Service providers are increasingly commoditized as clients begin to see little difference between one provider and another. Win rates for providers plummet. More decisions are being made on price, fees and rate as competitors undercut each other with low-ball bids.
If you are part of the revenue-generating engine of a services firm, you also may be the victim of your own loss of identity. Your message and tactics may not have evolved with your client’s increased range of choices.
The best way to win in competition – in RFPs and in the client competitions commonly referred to as "beauty contests" or "bake-offs" – is to make sure you understand the motivation and process driving the client's selection decision. The more you know about how and why the client will select its service provider, the easier it will be to align your tactics and win.
Perhaps as much as 99 percent of what you do is perceived as similar to what your nearest competitors do. That means that the one percent perceived difference drives 100 percent of the client's choice. In competitive situations, if a prospective client does not see or value even the smallest characteristics that make you better, it threatens your ability to win, or forces you to compete on price. That is why it is so important to identify and then position what differentiates you. But you still will not have reached the finish line.
If you are able to differentiate yourself as a preferred provider, you only become a finalist in the competition. You have made it to the short list, the red zone where the competition gets intense. All of the service providers on the short list are well qualified, so your professional qualifications probably won't differentiate you as much during this final stage as it did in earlier stages of the process.
The winner of this final selection phase will be the provider that best establishes a partnership with the client. This is the third level of engagement, becoming a strategic partner by differentiating on the client – that is, finding and then aligning to what makes this prospective client unique. This means aligning with the prospective client personally and professionally, and with the client's unique situation, project, preferences and decision process.
Instead of wanting to know more about you at this point, prospective clients want to work with a strategic partner, a partner who knows more and cares more about them.