To Bid or Not to Bid... That is the Question!
There's a heated debate going on in a promotional products LinkedIn group I participate in about whether or not to participate in the bidding process.
Here's the question from a distributor that prompted the debate and below that is my response to this hot issue.
Do you participate in bids like this? Curious
We are promotional distributors in the northeast. A non-profit client is bidding out around 5,000 t-shirts... We've gotten very little biz from them over the years...
I know that there are at least five+ competitors bidding, and have no idea whether they bid to silk screeners or not (I have always felt that it's virtually impossible to beat a screen printer...)
So while pricing a job like this out would only take five or so minutes...
Would you participate in the bid, and if so, would you be o.k. with a 10% mark-up which historically seems to be where one has to be to win a bid like this.
Have to assume this client would not put a penny down.
I'm most curious to hear whether you, my fellow distributor, would bother with something like this, or not...
Before I would respond I would ask the prospect up-front how the decision will be made: price, quality, past relationship, turnaround time, etc. I would try and set up a meeting with them to share your expertise and better understand their organization. You may be able to suggest a better solution.
Rather than low ball your price, if you do decide to bid, add other things to your bid that your competitors may not provide such as faster turnaround, help at the event, quality guarantees, a donation to their cause, etc.
However, if you find they are only interested in the lowest price, I wouldn't bother to bid. What's the point? Even if you win the bid, you'll most likely be making very little if any money, may have to wait long to be paid, and there may be a lot of follow up involved. Your business costs you money to run and your time is valuable. Focus on building strong relationships and providing value and expertise, that's how you'll be successful and make more money in your promotional products business.