Of all RFP bidders, only you have detailed knowledge of the current contract metrics, investments, and issues and their resolution. Stressing this current contract experience and performance is a key element in rebid success.
Mine your client experience for advantages
Use information and the experience you’ve gathered on the current contract to:
- Show deep understanding: Bid evaluators often complain that proponents fail to show they understand the requirements and have tailored their solution accordingly. At every opportunity, reference details of the client’s configuration and practices. This familiarity will create a level of comfort your competitors can’t provide.
- Demonstrate performance: Cite efficiency improvements you’ve made and how you successfully managed unexpected situations. If you experienced performance lapses, don’t ignore them and hope the client has forgotten (it’s unlikely). Instead, document the investments and other changes you made at your own expense to prevent a recurrence.
- Justify escalators and extras: If your client experienced price increases during the existing contract, defuse negative feelings these might have caused. For example, cite increased service volumes at declining unit costs, and/or improved outputs (quality, client satisfaction).
- Ghost competitors’ pricing: Often one or more competitors will underbid, based on incomplete understanding of the requirements. To defend, do two things. First, include and price only required items. Second, find ways to reinforce the complexity and effort required to perform to expectations, including ongoing training. Also, identify any trade-offs you made that could impact price, and explain why this was necessary to achieve required performance and/or maintainability.
Position yourself as low risk and innovative
Use the ideas above and in the recent post on focusing rebids on the future to present your offer as an ideal combination of fresh ideas, combined with low risk due to your proven ability to perform.
When citing your knowledge and performance under the current contract, choose your opportunities carefully to avoid coming across as preachy.