The Early Bird Catches the Worm

What’s one of the greatest advantages you can give your enterprise when competing for a highly sought-after new client or customer, or a key piece of new business?

It’s simple. And anyone can do it. It’s starting your pre-pursuit or pre-proposal research earlier – way earlier – than any of the competition is likely to.

The earlier you begin planning out your research agenda and activities, the more time you give yourself to dive into not only all the fundamental areas of client and competitive intelligence, but the more opportunity you afford yourself to go deep into any or all of them.

The more time you’ve invested – in an unrushed manner – the more opportunity you have to get clear on what your relevant strengths and weaknesses are, both in terms of the client’s needs, and in terms of the
competitive field. Thus, the more time you have to work out how to capitalise on your strengths or even hone them further, and to power up in any weak areas if you feel these will be significant evaluation criteria for the prospective client or customer organisation.

And the deeper you go with your research, the more information and the more insights you have to throw on the strategy table, and the more intelligence you have on which to base your strategy and your ultimate proposal.

OR …. You might discover that this piece of business isn’t such a good catch after all.

Or that you haven’t really got a snowflake’s chance against one or more of the likely competitors. Better still, you’ll know why, and you can choose to do something about it either in time for this pursuit, or for a future run.

All of this and more, you have the opportunity to do, if you start early enough. And there is almost no “too early”. Once you know there’s a piece of business or a key account up for grabs and that you’ll have to compete for it, why would you wait to make a start on the research you know you’re going to need to do?

In my experience, a highly committed early bird, so often really does, catch the worm.