Racing is fun. It's one of the most exciting ways you can turn money into noise. It's definitely more fun when you WIN.
I know this from my experience not as a driver but from four years pit crewing for stock cars and sports cars, including for a national championship competitor.
We had to pick the races where we thought we'd do well, give it our best, and keep coming up the learning curve every time. What worked? What didn't? We kept the things that were right, and took a good hard look at how we needed to change the things that weren't. To get our novice team, new car, and seasoned driver from the back of the pack into the top three, we had to take apart our performance after every race.
I enjoyed all four seasons of pit crewing. Even today, I still smile at the smell of brake dust. It was an extraordinary experience that I'm grateful for -- both at the time, and for the lessons that still matter for me and my clients today.
Distilling the loser lessons
Competition -- whether it's racing or federal contracting -- is expensive. Just to get to the starting line takes lots of up front investment, constant training and practice and tuning. Often -- especially at the beginning -- it's personal money, not bank financing or racing sponsorship. That comes later, maybe. Every team member has to give peak performance. Still, with all that effort, we'd have stayed at the back of the pack if we hadn't kept tuning up the vehicle and the team.
Every bid has to represent the best you can do. In federal contracting, losses are part of the game. Data shows that you can expect to lose at least three bids before you win your first one. If you lost last time, and that was the best you can do, then if you want a different result, the next effort also needs to be better.
Where should you focus your proposal-tuning?
If you got a debriefing (and I hope you did), then your buyer has already pointed you in the right direction. Price is nearly always a factor! Business owners are constantly disappointed to be told that they lost on price. A lot of the time, that's real. *
Federal contractors: 3 ways to get your pricing on the fast track to win
Federal contract pricing is just one of the elements you've got to get right -- not just to win, but also to profit. It's hard to get right...until you do. My friend, nationally-renowned contract pricing expert Marsha Lindquist, shared with me just three of the things that make the biggest difference for her dozens of successful clients:
1. Know where to get and how to use the competitor & predecessor data that becomes the super-fuel for your pricing strategy.
2. Know how to leverage salary research and technical requirements savvy that lets you pass the others and take the lead.
3. Know when and how to create a new indirect labor pool to lower costs and bring you across the finish line!
Get the details on "How"
Marsha Lindquist, President of Granite Leadership Strategies, has generously offered to share the details with all of us. She'll take us through these steps, and field questions about your specific challenges, on a special live webinar event, "Price to WIN: Build Your Book of Business". Wednesday, May 24th, 2-3 pm EDT, I hope you'll join me! It's complimentary, but seating is limited. REGISTER NOW to avoid disappointment.
* P.S. Sometimes, the problem actually isn't price. Your buyer may be speaking to you in code. If you've nailed every one of your cost dollars down to three decimal points, and you're still losing on price, let's talk. A simple conversation can start making a difference for you right now, and change the game before Q4 is done.
Judy Bradt works with business owners to significantly increase their federal win rates and revenue while lowering their cost of sales and marketing. Her strategies, research, and systems allow federal contractors to meet the right buyers and teaming partners with the precision and lead time they need to succeed. If you like the sound of that, give her a call at (703) 627 1074, or email Judy.Bradt@SummitInsight.com.