However, while there can be no standard course in Bid Coaching, we have found that clients often need help in four specific areas of communication when working towards a successful Bid. These are:
- The Use of Status.
- The Use of Voice.
- Influencing Skills.
- Rehearsing the Bid.
The Use Of Status
Understanding and using Status can be of enormous benefit to a Bid Team in three ways:
Firstly, everyone in the team needs to work from a default position of High Status. This will help each member of the Bid Team to command and keep the full attention of the client team and maintain control of the agenda. High Status involves mentally taking ownership of the Space and Time, and this is particularly useful if the Bid Process takes place at the client’s office.
Secondly, the team also need to learn how to modulate their status up and down in order to manage the interactive aspects of a Bid, such as Q & A sessions, deftly and subtly.
Thirdly, Bid Teams also need to use advanced Status Techniques to manage handovers between members of the Bid Team, so the client gets the impression of a strong team, where each member is wholly at ease with other team members taking the lead and the limelight.
The Use Of Voice
The human voice is an underestimated aspect of business communication. It is particularly powerful in the Bidding situation because a well-produced, resonant voice relaxes the listener, working at a subliminal level to make an argument persuasive.
Craft of Communication voice coaches help our clients to develop a strong vocal technique by developing a greater variety of pitch and pace in their speaking voice. This enables them to punctuate their speech, making what they say easy to follow. This is particularly important when the pitch or bid involves communicating the significance of technical data.
In these sessions we can help speakers who talk too quickly, run out of breath when speaking, require accent reduction, or do not have English as their first language.
Craft of Communication’s theatre-based techniques draw on the insights into audience psychology that every actor learns. Central to this is that audiences FEEL before they THINK. This doesn’t mean they are not thinking. It means that the way they think will be heavily influenced by the way they feel, and in particular, the way they feel about a speaker.
This is particularly important in the Bidding situation because the client will not just be listening to facts and figures: they will be thinking ‘Can I work with these people?’
We teach a wide range of Influencing Skills. It can be as simple, like using Questions rather than Statements or complex. like analysing the mindset of the Clients Team and choosing the language and style of argument to suit them.
Whichever is appropriate, they have the same goal – to change the way the client team both thinks and feels.
Rehearsing The Bid
Craft of Communication uses highly skilled actors to help a Bid Team to practise and rehearse. Clients find this very useful.
Our actors have the ability to absorb information about companies and individuals so they can play, with great authenticity, the client team.
A rehearsal session like this provides valuable direct feedback on how a sales team is coming across. The rehearsal session provides an opportunity to redo and revise their approach until it is honed and perfected.