How can I be my customer’s preferred supplier?

21 Sep 2017


By Malcolm Gallagher, BizVision Ltd

Working as a consultant on behalf of St Helens Chamber to help businesses win more tenders, has been revealing in a number of ways.

Across St Helens I have met some great businesses who are capable of being become brilliant businesses, but a lot of them don’t know that they need to make a change. After all, if it’s broken why try to fix it?

Most businesses tend to look inward when considering change or development. They have an in-depth knowledge of all areas of their business such as its people, accounting and operations.

However to move onward and upward in growth, profitability and business value businesses need to also be looking outward. They need to be ‘radar scanning’ what is happening now and envisioning the future. This scanning needs to include their sector, competitors, customers, influencers, political climate, technology, innovation and even their own supply chain or suppliers.

Winning more tenders and contracts

Too many businesses think winning contracts is simply a case of filling in a form whether it is an online tendering portal such as The Chest, or not. Business also often falsely believe that winning contracts is all about price when in fact issues like compliance with equal opportunities, health and safety and environmental policies impact buying decisions.

If you consider that buying today is becoming more about ‘who you are’ and not ‘what you do’, then you will be on the right track.

Businesses need to consider how they live and embed compliance issues and then how to persuasively tell a story about themselves, so that the business scores maximum points for its bid.

It’s not that price isn’t important but consider for a moment that two suppliers who are bidding for a contract are virtually identical in price but one, using the above approach, shows themselves to be a better fit for the company or organisation offering the contract.

The considerate and professional buyer will likely select their preferred supplier as the one persuasively showing their compliance credentials.

Take Action

If you want to be the preferred supplier then, it is time for you to take action. St Helens Chamber’s Business Growth Programme, Funded by the European Regional Development Fund,  can provide businesses with up to 12 hours of fully funded, quality advice and support to help your business grow.

For more information call 01744 742042  or email