When working with consultants who tender for a lot of work, we often have a good discussion around what are the critical steps in winning and sustaining more work. Is it the winning bid strategies, the knowledge of the client, the service you provide that solves the clients problems? All are important but what is the critical step to winning more work?

My firm belief is the most important step in winning work is the go/no go process you have in place before you put any time or energy into pursuing any work. Too many consultants spend too much time chasing rats and mice rather than hunting lions. Other consultants spread themselves too thin in trying to service too many industries and don’t develop strong expertise in fewer industries which would give them a significant advantage. Then there are other consultants who are not clear on who their target market or who their dream clients are and what they look like.

The observations above are provided to highlight that there can be significant wasted energy on pursuits that don’t eventuate to much. This one step determines where you put your time and energy and what increases your probability of success of gaining more work. It requires some thought, planning and discipline up front and needs to ask the key questions to determine whether you are proceeding with the opportunity or not.

Some of the key questions a good go/no go checklist should include are as follows:

  • is the work in our key industries?
  • have we got the time to do the work?
  • have we got the resources to do the work?
  • have we done work with this client before?
  • what are our three key winning bid strategies for this work that will ensure we are successful?
  • what is our cost strategy to ensure we deliver value to the client?

The go/no go process is a critical step in not choosing whether you do the work but more the slowing down to speed up to win work. Good planning, good focus and linked to your strengths will ensure you build a pipeline of work opportunities that will keep you busy in the short, medium and long term. The other key point will be that you do the work you enjoy with the clients that value what you do which will increase the satisfaction that you derive from your work.

The BD and brand package from easyconsult has a series of templates that will assist you in winning more work with your clients. We have provided an example go/no go template within our free sample pack which you can download on our website.