… and Mean What You Say
The current economic climate has created exciting opportunities in which the traditional public-private relationships are changing to more dynamic partnerships.
Traditionally, risk was transferred to the private sector using a simple contract but we are now seeing the emergence of true 50/50 partnerships. These involve new joint venture companies being established for a particular project that utilise the skills, resources and differing finances of both partners.
However, these partnerships should not be entered into lightly and require detailed dialogue so that each party fully understands its commitment, the expectations, and the desired outcomes. Through this, trust will be built and true partnership working created to enable decisions to be made for the shared benefit.
The best partnerships require the alignment of interests of both parties with an appreciation of their differing objectives. The willingness to work together as partners to achieve the shared benefits that will accrue is the key. To achieve this you need excellent lawyers who understand how to compose the supporting legal documents to reflect these principles whilst being sufficiently flexible to accommodate the changing circumstances.
Value statements are fundamental to winning more work and should feature strongly in the psyche of any bid writer, salesperson or business owner. However, it is surprising how few people really think through the value of what they offer or tell their clients how they will benefit. Well crafted value statements can have a powerful effect on your success rate and boost your business so make sure you don’t fall into the same trap!
Value statements are simple, clear, concise statements of fact that tell your prospect what they can expect from working with you or from buying your product/ service. People often make wishy-washy statements that are aspirational rather than specific, mostly because they haven’t thought through exactly what their client wants, whether they can deliver it, how they will do it, or when they will finish.
What effect will this have? Simple, it will cause confusion, which means your prospect doesn’t understand what they will get for their money or when they can expect it…and you won’t get their business.
Effective value statements say what you will do, how you will do it, what resources are required and when it will be done. Working SMART is the sensible way forward and makes you think things through…which is simply good business planning.
is for Simple – simply state what you will do…avoid statements like “can”, “might”, “aim to” and so on…no aspirations- you get the picture!
is for Measurable - know what you intend doing and how you will know when you have done it!
is for Action - clearly tell your audience what you will do…” we will use our approved and audited supply chain and national purchasing agreements to commence stage 1 works within 6 weeks of appointment…”
is for Realistic – Make sure you can achieve what you say…goals should be practical and achievable. Don’t try to fool anyone as they will know if you are promising more than can be achieved.
is for Timely - You should say when you will achieve each of your goals. It is very rare that you can meet a goal without a time element but if it is unclear say what you plan to achieve, how it will be reviewed to ensure it is, and what the consequences might be if it cannot be met.
Human beings are innately story tellers…we’ve been doing it for over 3,000 years and we still love to hear stories of all kinds. I recall listening to a 20 minute presentation (effectively a story) by a former colleague who outlined what she had done for a particular client. When asked what I thought of the presentation the only thing I could only recall was how much grant aid (in the millions) she had managed to secure…this was the single most important thing as my thoughts (as a client) were if she can do that for them then maybe she can do it for me!
So, to wrap up…never forget to say how you have done it before, what you achieved, and what the benefit was to your client. Remember that it is the effect of what you make or build, the service you provide, or the product you sell that matters and not the thing itself…this is true output thinking and should be the true aim of your work.
“…this scarf keeps me warm, looks good and feels great..”
“…our student’s marks are up as a result of working in our fantastic new school …”
“…our tenants have clear agreements that set out obligations for both of us so they know what to expect…”
Everyone loves a success story and if your prospect sees how they will gain they will want to work with you to get the same outcome. It addresses the age old question we all ask when presented with someone trying to sell us something…”what’s in it for me..?” This isn’t narcissism just realism that will remove doubt and make your sale easier. Afterall, no one wants to buy something if they don’t know what it will do for them…showing them the outcome is a great way for them to visualise the end result- something successful athletes do all the time.
If you follow this approach your bid will be a statement of intent and not just a marketing document that leaves your prospective client wondering what he has signed up to! You will improve your communication and win more work…why not share your success stories by commenting on these thoughts?