- 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
- There are no geographic boundaries anymore; service firms are forced to compete on a global scale.
- Global reach adds to the velocity of competition, which compresses margins. Since the Great Recession began, clients have spent a great deal of time and effort reducing costs. Service providers are a clear target for cost reduction because they’re not an embedded budget cost.
Unless the service provider can communicate or build preference, it must keep responding to price compression. There is more and more competition: From overpopulated traditional business channels, to alternative and disruptive methods of delivering services, vendors are facing pressure from every corner.
- Traditional sales techniques based on product selling are giving way to a new way of selling services based on a high-impact, high-trust, high-capability environment.
- Most client acquisition training programs teach you how to sell your services, but not how to win. They teach you how to ask questions, uncover needs and then position your service as a solution. But what happens when the client has already decided to use the services that you offer, and now they are just deciding between you and your best competitors? How do clients choose, and how do providers win “bake offs?” There is a clear pattern to how clients chose and how elite providers align and win.
- Clients are focused increasingly on price.
Any maturing industry faces price and margin compression and that is certainly true of most professional and financial service providers. As capacity increases, price competition also increases.
After the Great Recession, clients focused on cost reduction, and service vendors are external costs that are easy to cut. Service providers who are perceived as vendors – providers who are capable but undifferentiated – were and are the most vulnerable. Preferred providers, frequently market leaders who can position against most of the market, have fared better but have seen their margins suffer. Strategic partners have expanded market share and command the highest industry margins because clients tend to view them as irreplaceable.
- With corporate shrinkage and cost reduction the decision makers are more difficult to reach and engage. Yet it is also becoming more important to do so.
- The people who have remained in corporations have more work to do and are busier than ever before. This means that the provider’s ability to gain access to decisions makers and influencers is far more challenging.
Unfortunately, each decision maker has his or her own view about how much they know, like and trust you – how much you understand their industry, company, their role and challenges, or their project, situation, preferences and decision process. So while it is harder to gain access, it is more important than ever to do so. If you cannot differentiate on the client, you will be forced to compete on your vendor differentiators – usually price.
- On the sales-training side, technology is changing the delivery of education dramatically.
- We are in the early stages of a revolution in education caused by rapidly advancing technology. Such platforms as the Khan Academy, Coursera and Udacity are revolutionizing how traditional education is delivered. Major universities are migrating to courseware using E-Learning technologies.
We are experiencing similar trends in the delivery of business training. Until recently, a typical one-day live workshop would reach only a handful of participants at great expense, and, because of time constraints, would mostly consist of a theory dump with little time for critical practice and mastery. That leads to dismal retention and adoption rates.
We can now leverage technology to inexpensively and continuously deliver theory so that precious live training can focus on critical, deliberate practice and mastery.