Creating Winning Bids
by Basil Sawczuk
Date reviewed: April 2013
As this recession got underway many companies response to falling business will have been to increase the number of bids they submitted, probably with the same or a smaller team than they used before. The result of this will have been a fall in the quality of their submissions and a consequent reduction in their conversion rates. Instead they would have been better off taking more time on a select number of bids, researching their clients and submitting a well thought through and targeted proposal. This is what Basil Sawczuk recommends in his second book, Creating Winning Bids.
Although written with the design professional in mind there are concepts that anyone involved in the preparation of proposals would benefit from. Those such as the specification sales person, who sell to architects and engineers would also benefit from reading the book as they would get a better understanding of the bid process.
The book is clearly set out and easy to read with a handy Summary Checklist at the end of each chapter. It follows a logical process starting with advice on finding opportunities, considers building the relationship before tender, gives advice on ensuring you present the right image, as well as understanding your competitor. It then addresses the process of preparing a proposal or bid including the contents and layout of the document.
The book sets out sound advice and should be read by any design professional who has to prepare bids be it a large, medium or small organisation. If I was to identify one message to take from the book it would be preparation – in understanding your client, your competitors and what they want from the successful bidder.