8 things DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations does differently with its proposals.
“There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you unless your potion is hard work.” – Jeffrey Gitomer, author, and business trainer
We take proposals seriously at DIS-TRAN. They’re not a means to an end; they are an opportunity in themselves to showcase our expertise and capabilities and, above all else, show our customers just what we can do. But that requires us to go above and beyond with our proposals and proposal process.
“We get quite a bit of feedback like, ‘Your proposal looks great, and I feel confident with it,’” says David Ducote, who heads DIS-TRAN’s proposal department. That doesn’t happen by accident. Here are eight ways DIS-TRAN’s proposal process stands out.
We utilize a large proposal staff. This might not seem like a big deal, but many organizations only employ one or two people, who then end up swamped with all the work and juggling all the calls. With adequate staffing, we can give each customer and prospective customer a single point of contact and start building a true relationship from the very start.
In fact, we view proposals as being about relationships, not jobs. We focus on taking every opportunity we can to develop a relationship with the customer. We’ll even send Proposal Managers out to hit the road, sit down with customers, and work through any issues that they may be having.
The proposal group is entirely separate from the project group. This isn’t always the case, but we believe that this approach allows our people to be more focused on their core competency and, therefore, to always deliver best-in-class work to the client.
But we stay in close touch with the project group. Proposal Managers don’t just disappear once Project Managers step in. Each Proposal Manager will follow their project with specific touch points, where they check in to make sure everything is going well and inquire if the customer needs anything.
We also employ multiple estimators. We double-check and review every proposal to ensure quality and eliminate error. Are we quoting the right materials? Was anything left out? With multiple estimators, we can perform a close review of every proposal.
Similarly, we have a dedicated proposal engineer. We don’t rely on the same engineers working live jobs. With our own engineer, we can look at the engineering aspect of the project in full on front-end, giving our proposals a more technical focus up-front without disrupting projects in progress.
We don’t bid everything. “We have to marry everything up to capacity at the time,” says David. Sometimes our capacity won’t allow us to devote the resources that a project really needs; we will pass rather than do subpar work.
We try to get feedback from every experience. Finally, we try to get as much feedback as we can, even (perhaps especially) when we lose the bid. We are constantly learning and strive for continuous improvement throughout our operations, and that includes proposing.
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