All suppliers have one thing in commonn: they’re all going after the big names in the industry. It’s a reasonable goal, given that they are the ones who will double your sales and guarantee your business’s longevity. When participating in that bidding war, however, the main conflict becomes increasingly apparent. You’re all making the same promises and assuring them that you’ll go the extra mile.
What you need to understand is that the battle for the large companies started well before you were even considered to supply for them. In sharpening your competitive edge and ascertaining your position in the next bid, you have to start with the most practical points.
Make your touch points impressive
It makes little difference that your current partners are impressed with you if their testimonies aren’t being broadcasted on your website. Speaking of website, it easily disappoints potential customers when your online presence is remarkable but your office building is underwhelming.
Large companies, just like your everyday customers, judge you based on these initial touch points. How well you maintain a good impression depends on the time, energy, and even money you invest in them. It’s likely that the people researching companies like yours have gone over your website, social media account, and other branding materials before they even speak to you. This makes it even more crucial to be as informative and aesthetically-pleasing in all your branding and marketing efforts from the very beginning.
If you want the large companies to set you apart, then highlight your advantages over similar suppliers. It could be the awards you’ve won or simply the extra measures you take to ensure that all your equipment are running well. Did you upgrade your cryogenic tank maintenance to further the safety and quality of the liquids and gases you supply? Then say so in your website. Any extra measure you take for the satisfaction of your customers need broadcasting, as that may make the difference you need to win them over.
Demonstrate your brand at first contact
Your sales and marketing team need to be able to embody your branding. Any person who’ll interact with possible clients, may it be through email, phone call, or personal visit, should make them feel confident that you can deliver what your promised.
This is why it’s essential to invest in the continual training of your team. They have to know your products and operations from the bottom up and explain them with authority. It’s true not only in the way they articulate their points, but also in their physical presentation. However they come across in the first few encounter prior to the bidding will largely impact the totality of the outcome.
Prioritize problem resolution
No matter how organized your company is and meticulously monitored your operations are, problems will always arise. Large companies need to be accountable for the time they spend resolving problems, as every minute that they can’t operate properly corresponds to a degree of financial loss. They will not expect you to be perfect, but they will demand responsibility in addressing problems on your end.
In persuading them to choose you, make preventive, corrective, and containment actions part of your presentation. If you can, research them beforehand to know the most common problems they experienced with their previous suppliers. Let them know exactly how you’ll handle a conflict, especially one that will take more time than usual to resolve completely.
What you do and don’t do during these critical moments will define your relationship with them for the rest of your contract. Commit to every preparation possible to present yourself as the most suitable candidate in their pool of options.
Don’t Complicate Things
Even large companies don’t need grand promises to be persuaded that you’re the right supplier for them. They simply need assurance that you can deliver well and that you’re interested in building a good relationship with them. Polish these three areas first and see what big difference they make in the next bidding you join.