You are an A/E/C professional marketer. Has your company pressured you to develop a proposal for a project you knew was un-winable? It is frustrating to put time, creativity, and effort into what you know will be an un-winable proposal. Yet, most of us do it regularly. But you do not have to stay in this rut!
For A/E design and construction companies, it's crucial to determine if a project is win-able. But how can you gauge whether a project is truly "win-able?" Let's delve into the key factors that help answer this question.
Established Relationships Matter:
One of the first signs that a project might be win-able is if the project owner is familiar with your firm. Have they talked to one of your firm leaders or project managers recently? By recently, I mean within the past 6 months. Having a good initial connection or ongoing dialogue can lead to a successful collaboration. To increase the odds of winning, start by communicating well and building relationships.
Track Record of Success:
To determine if your firm can win a project, consider if you've completed a similar project for the same owner in the past five years. This showcases your ability to meet their expectations and deliver on your promises. A successful track record can instill confidence in the project owner that your firm is a reliable choice.
Alignment of Expertise:
Does your firm have the skills and expertise that align with the requirements of the project? If the answer is yes, it enhances your chances of winning the project. Just because your people say they "can" does not mean they "should." To stand out, it's important to demonstrate your knowledge and abilities with similar projects.
The Preferred Company:
Sometimes, project owners may have a preferred firm in mind. To decide if your firm can win, we need to discover good reasons for the owner to think about other options. This could be due to cost, unique expertise, or a specific aspect of your proposal that sets you apart. Identifying and addressing these factors can tilt the odds in your favor. But you have to be able to do something the preferred company cannot do or prove you do it better!
Understanding the Purpose:
In addition to technical qualifications, it's important to understand the project's driving forces and purpose. To increase your chances of winning the project, your firm needs to meet its requirements and objectives. Understanding the purpose of the project means going beyond the technical. It means answering the "why." Why is the owner doing this project?
In summary, determining the win-ability of a project involves several factors. Build relationships. Demonstrate past success. Prove your expertise. Communicate your differentiators. Understand and communicate the project's purpose. Evaluate these factors carefully when making a project pursuit decision. If you can execute on these factors, your project win-ability dramatically increases.
Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC