12 Keys To Landing The Big Contract

With the right product, service attitude and approach, you can win a coveted corporate contract

bet is to come in mid-range on estimates, if possible. Not too high and not too low.

9. CROSS T’S AND DOT THE I’S
When you receive your minority supplier or bid package from a company, read it carefully. It will tell you exactly what the minimum requirements are to do business with that company. For example, you may need product or service liability insurance. Or, if you’re selling a product, you must be able to meet minimum quantities on delivery, have a marketing or advertising program set up, or perform shelf checking and other in-store duties. If you’re not sure, ask the minority supplier representative or the buyer you’ve been assigned for specifics. Don’t expect any business until you’re fully prepared to meet minimum requirements. Fill paperwork out completely and attach all requested items, such as tax forms, insurance certificates, certification papers, etc.

10. Make sure quality is job one.
This is more than how good you look during the presentation. Quality refers to the high performance standards you’ve set for your own business — your processes, error rates, timeliness, delivery cycles and cost effectiveness. Gene McFadden, owner and CEO of Freight Masters Systems Inc., a trucking company in Indianapolis, approached Chrysler in 1985 about delivering freight for them. “Our good service record and competitive rates got their attention,” says McFadden. What’s kept it is Freight Masters’ continued focus on quality service. In 1986, just a year after coming onboard, Freight Masters won Chrysler’s hard-to-attain Penta Star award, given to the supplier who scores the most points in the company’s Carrier Quality Analysis Score (CQUAS) program. This rating system awards or subtracts points for performance in several categories, including billing, how long it takes to resolve claims, service failures (missing a delivery and holding up the assembly line), transit time and innovativeness (offering Chrysler cost- reducing ideas). McFadden’s company won the award again in 1996.

11. HANG WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Join chambers of commerce that have corporations as members or active participants. Since fees can be costly, get your money’s worth by attending networking functions, Offering to make presentations or conduct workshops in your area of expertise, and serving on committees. Become a board member and a business community spokesperson.

12. Last but not least, relax.
Consider yourself the best at what you do and then go into the company and let people know why. Don’t be stiff, don’t be nervous, don’t be afraid. Relax, enjoy yourself, exude self-confidence, energy and professionalism. Know that you’ve got something of value to offer and communicate that fact clearly and with enthusiasm. “If the customer is comfortable with you, feels good having you around, then you’ll get business. If you deliver as promised, you’ll keep getting business,” says Rasheed. And before you know it, you’ll be part of that inner circle of the anointed — suppliers the client can’t do without.

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