Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL BIDDING : What to do and what not to do.

Just hope that someone finds my...
Hope that someone finds my...
Just hope that someone finds my..."MESSAGE IN A     BOTTLE"

..The Police

That will indeed be extreme i.e. you are so screwed up with your sales targets and actual results that you send a ‘message in a bottle’[ by the way did you know that Sting actually sent a message in a bottle..No? Well I’ve never heard of it too]. So now that I have your attention, let me give you some juicy and tender tips which if you know will boost your changes to win the tender. . Now, I don’t say win the tender but your chances to win it. And for those who are coming in just now, please note we are talking of Government and Public Sector Tenders.All these are stand-alone tips and this means you can do all or do one..it won’t matter excepting your chances will be enhanced to the same level.

So ready friends, here we go then:-

1. You may not have prepared the tender..maybe your sub-ordinates prepared it, maybe your boss prepared it..whatever. Do insist on your complete copy compiled exactly like the original. Go through the copy and and check if you understand each and every sentence. The key word here is understand  not agreement with. If say, you do not understand a particular sentence in the context, ask who prepared it continuously till you understand. Check the commercial terms basics. If the project is a big one and likely to take up time, checkup whether you have made your battery limits clear

2. Go through the RFP and ensure that your bid is exactly like it. Say, in the qualification criteria, there is a small hitch in your documents, make up a number ( two is enough) of replies if this is pointed out. Let us assume that you are 90% sure it will not come up, still do not ignore it.

3. If the ad says the closing time is within 1400 hours and you find that one tender has been dropped, yours is going to be no 2 then wait in the boss's office. Drop your tender in at the stroke. Say at 10 minutes past, somebody turns up huffing and puffing, he missed the bus and had to run…dept says well…but you say no.. stand in the way but if the department wants to allow him. You also allow but say that you’ll make a note in a semi-serious manner. All these varies actually depending upon your relationship strengths in the department. If you find that the tender's postponed at the last minute, go back with the tender collecting a copy of the notice. Do not drop the tender before time cos baby, that's what losers do.

4. The tender opening process. Don't try to say" Please once more" twice. You need to have your own shorthand system ready to note down the salient points. During the techno-commercial, ask questions to get to know your competitor's bid. You are entitled to know. Not everything needs to be noted down

5. The Ace card : Most Indian firms send their junior most people to tender openings which is an ace-in –the –hole card for you in two ways. You are the General Manager, and you are there whereas your competitor has only two Sales guys. The Boss-man has to be there-it is probably his office in the first place..he will love you. He won’t say anything but you and him are more similar in experience etc. and you are showing him respect. That’s an ace right down the middle: an enormous plus in your favor.  What you say or do will carry more weight now. Experience counts however but what if the boss is very close with the your competitor’s boss, sometimes it may not matter. Make it matter or give a complicated explanation to something which the other guys cannot participate in.

6. The tender opening of part 1 is complete. Everyone will start signing on the papers opened. They will bring a sheet to you to sign as the rep of your company. Here, refer back to point 3, and jokingly say that you are going to write a note, how X party was late and write it. Sometimes it is not necessary, but all those can be learned only with time.

Shake hands again, make small talk and then take your leave. Ensure your competitors leave before you
So next time we will see what is the next part ..For fun lets consider this day as Day 01. (Here day means calendar day, not a working day)

Bye then, till the next time

NB: I don’t know what your philosophy of tendering is dear reader but mine is “ GET THE JOB AT ALL COSTS”. But no one can do that . Even DiMaggio’s streak had to end, so just add this line” IF I DON”T GET IT , I’LL ENSURE THAT NO OTHER S.O.B. GETS IT”. I have told you this because my blog posts will move as per that line. You should be knowing this beforehand, that’s what I feel.
Bye till the next time

Thursday, August 09, 2012


First of all, I want to tell my readers that the sales methods I have outlined here will work in the  Indian sub-continent without a hitch. But the US or Europe..I'm not sure ..You will need to compensate for culture differences. If you can do that , the work's yours. Why I say this is because I saw a visitor to this blog from google, him or her getting the link by searching google for" How to sell to Public Sector in the US". So, I''m really sorry but you won't have success 100% through this blog. You'll know important things which will help you in your career. If you are really interested, send me a mail and I'll revert as soon as I get the time

Some rules in a Public Sector Press Tender, worth mentioning i.e. The Weak Links where the defense can be breached, have been roughly given below as A few weak links in the tendering process. Before we do that, let me share some specific properties of press tenders with you.

A Press Tender usually is a two-part type. Part I (the Techno-commercial Bid ) and Part II (the price part), being the two parts. This is done to save time.
For system tenders, one technical bid can run to 100 or more pages. Generally, there are some pre-qualification norms, which you have to satisfy. The proof of these should be enclosed in the Techno-Commercial Bid. Say, for a job of fabrication and laying of a cross country pipeline where the estimated cost is $500 million, you need to have executed at least two similar projects of $200 million or more, in the past two years. You need to have certain equipment and machinery-if you do not own them, at least you should have access to. You need to have financial solvency so that client is assured of your capability to meet the operating/running expenses.

Let us consider a hypothetical party of five parties tendering for a job. The pre-qualification criteria which also includes the EMD criteria are checked first and if you do not satisfy them, out you go. Next comes the say of the technical indenter who will read over the remaining tenders. Let us assume, he finds two are okay and another, dicey. He scraps it.
Next come the contract commercial and special conditions. Everything is examined. Have you accepted the customer’s payment terms. What is your validity? What is your price basis? Have you considered taxes etc. If yes, at what rates? Etc., etc. Now this is not boring at all. In fact, it is very interesting and if you are feeling bored, the composition-al talents of the undersigned or their lack, is to blame and not the facts themselves.

Finally the two parties who qualified are called and told that the price-bids will be opened on such and such date and time. (The Price bids of the others are returned unopened). The price bids are opened and generally, the lowest gets the order. That is the gamut of the Public Sector Press Tender. Finally, what about time? The period from the date of the press ad to the date of order placement will take not be less than six to eight months. Tough if you are in a hurry but sorry pal, you have to wait.

Now that I have told you briefly, the entire tendering process, I will elaborate on those weak links and perfectly legal ways to gain an advantage over the other parties, by using these weak points of access, in my next post.

                                             So for now, its
                                             Adios  Amigos!
                                             Hasta la Vista,