The essential guide to improving the success rate, efficiency and profitability of your competitive bidding in the professional services sector.
Competitive bidding for work is a long-established aspect of business within the professional services and consulting sector. For many markets, pitching has become a critical element of both attracting and retaining business. Combating clients' demands and intense competition, firms that want to win and retain business need business development and marketing teams that are experts in creating compelling proposals. Strategic Tendering for Professional Services offers a masterclass in improving your pitching skills and processes.
Drawing on insights from current pitch and proposal professionals and client-side procurement teams, Strategic Tendering for Professional Services provides end-to-end best practice guidance. From the crucial decision of which request-for-proposals (RFPs) to respond to, right through to the all-important face-to-face presentation and post-pitch follow-up, this practical handbook leads readers through all stages of the process on best practice and strategies for success.
Packed with practical features to help readers put guidance into practice, Strategic Tendering for Professional Services also supports business-wide improvement with a clear analysis of the processes and systems available to support pitch assembly and reporting. Whether you are a bid and proposal professional looking for extra tools, a business development or marketing manager providing support and expertise to partners, or a professional wanting to improve pitching skills, this book will be key to winning opportunities that will set the firm apart.
Essential reading for those who want to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive professional services sector.
Tony Williams, Principal, Jomati Consultants LLP
You may think that your sheer brilliance and reputation in the market - either as a firm or as an individual - wins you work. If you think that, prepare to be destroyed by anyone who has read this book!
Graham Vinter, Senior Counsel, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (or) former GC of BG Group plc
I really, really like this book. I can't count how many times lawyers and others have asked me for clear, relevant, practical guidance on their tendering efforts - and here it is, neatly combined in one tome. Debunking several of the urban myths around tendering (you can win and lose only on price etc), the authors manage to convey complex information in simple, persuasive terms, providing both visual and written assistance to busy professionals seeking to have their practices succeed. I'd see this as being essential reading for those focused on their businesses, their clients and their own careers. Highly recommended.
Patrick McCann, Global Head of Learning, Linklaters LLP
This is exactly the book that the market is missing! A very well structured, pragmatic and complete overview of best practices in pitching. Well written by one author, who himself has led many pitches at top tier professional service firms, and by a second who has made his lifework uncovering the key drivers of client satisfaction in professional services firms.
Professor Marc Salomon, Dean University of Amsterdam Business School
When I started in advertising I was told pitching is to business what taking a driving test is, well, to driving. You first need to learn how to pass the test, then to drive. That was then. Now a client expects you to be born Fangio. This book will, to carry on the internal combustion metaphor, put a tiger in your tank, before your next new business presentation.
Alasdhair MacGregor-Hastie, Vice President, Executive Creative Director, BETC Paris
Improving pitch effectiveness in a professional services firm can benefit from the theory of marginal gains. Small changes can and do have a big impact on win rate. This book is an insightful instruction manual on how to deliver them.
James Stringer, Global Head of BD ICM and Proposals, Allen & Overy LLP
This book should be the only port of call for all professionals involved in tendering. Brace yourself for a brave new world in which Matthew Fuller and Tim Nightingale reinvent the 'pitch'. They chart the shift from a traditional approach based on 'FOMO' (fear of missing out) to one based on an investment in strategic relationship building. Their new best practice aligns the needs and interests of those who procure professional services with the capabilities and interests of those who supply them, by creating a shared common goal characterized by four things: strategic thinking, problem solving, trust and the pursuit of excellence.
Simon Slater, CEO, Thomson Snell & Passmore
Matthew Fuller has 25 years' experience of working in the professional services sector. He has led global business development and marketing teams at Allen & Overy (where he also spent time based in Germany), Herbert Smith and currently White & Case. He has run training programmes throughout the world advising partners on proposals best practice.
Tim Nightingale is a founding director of Nisus Consulting, providing market research and client insight services to the professional services sector. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a full member of the Market Research Society and a member of the Professional Services Marketing Group (PSMG).
Matthew and Tim both contributed chapters to Professional Services Marketing Handbook (Kogan Page, 2015).