Questions to Structure a Major Bid:

When engaging in a bid of any kind it’s essential that the customer understands and feels the need for some of the USPs that we offer.  Through good questioning a customer’s problems and needs can be established, which can then be matched to our key USPs.  The key USPs included in this blog post are only of value if the customer perceives them to be of value, therefore we ask questions to uncover the needs that then fit these USPs. 

  • Large breadth of suppliers means we can compare all the suppliers (25% spread of pricing)
  • Proactive contract management (avoid falling out of contract rates)
  • Account Management / Easy of Contact (no waiting time, we will handle all MACs and new installs / Change of Tenancies / Office moves)
  • Bill Validation (20% of bills have been found to be wrong)
  • Supplier rationalisation of complex estate (reduce the number of suppliers)
  • Coterminous contracts (ensure all contract finish on the same date)
  • Free Smart Meters (Install smart meters, avoid people having to read their own bills, helps reduce usage)
  • Manage the entire switch process (set up billing, monitor objections)
  • Proactively manage termination process (avoid being rolled over)
  • Monitor the market and pick the best market timing
  • Forward buying / hedge pricing up to 5 years out (avoid market fluctuations)
  • Access to Green Tariffs
  • Supplier Consultancy (compare suppliers service, billing and responsiveness)

Before we start with need payoff questions, we need to establish some basic facts:

  • How did you sign your current contract, direct with supplier or with another broker?
  • Which broker did you use?
  • Are you still working with them?
  • How long have you worked with them?
  • When did you last meet your current broker?
  • What length of contract did you sign in for? (helps us understand their buying behaviour)
  • Are you looking to secure a new deal shortly or comparing the market at this stage?
  • If so what date are you looking to decide?
  • Who has the authority to sign the new contract?
  • Have you any other businesses or sites?
  • When is your current contract end date/s?
  • By what date do you need to serve notice?

These basic facts should help us structure the next set of questions, which if handled correctly should lead to a creation of customer needs.

Questions to find Customer problems:

  • What importance is price compared to service? (We can guide them on the best balance)
  • When did you last have your bills validated? – Around 20% of energy bills are wrong!
  • How many suppliers do you have?
  • What problems does that cause? (Think supplier rationalisation)
  • How often do you have to read your own meters? Is this a problem for you? (Think – Smart Meter Value Add)
  • Have you ever had a large catch up bill?
  • How did this impact your business?
  • Have you ever fallen on to out of contract or deemed rates?
  • Have you ever had cause to question your energy bill?
  • When did you last switch supplier?
  • How did you find the process?
  • How do you ideally want your billing structured? Centralise or direct to sites, Monthly or quarterly?
  • What requirements do you have for new meters installs, office moves / purchase or close new buildings?
  • Do you plan on moving premises in the next 18 months?
  • Who manages this all in your business?
  • What % of their time does it take up?
  • How many suppliers do you have?  – would you prefer one supplier, or the cheapest possible option for every supplier?
  • Would it be of benefit if you had a single common contract end date? (better bulk discount / simplicity)
  • Would it be of benefit to have longer term budget certainty?
  • What impact would a 30% rise in energy costs have on your business?
  • What is your understanding of how forward procurement can protect your business?
  • What consideration do you give to the environment when selecting your energy supplier? (Green Energy)
  • What % more would you pay for fully green energy (Zero Carbon Energy)

Once the answers to these questions are captured, then we can build the proposal to include the features that then address the needs created above.

 

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