You have worked hard at the tender, submitted your response and are awaiting the outcome – but there is no news!
- No news may be good news. (You haven’t been told you’ve lost it.)
- No news may be bad news. (If they are not talking to you they may be talking to someone else.)
- No news may simply mean there is no news. (They may not have moved forward with the project at all yet.)
All this is, of course, highly frustrating. You want to know where you stand, and if there is anything you should be doing. However you don’t want to annoy your prospect with continual phone calls or emails – and anyway, this would all come across as being a bit desperate.
So what can you do? Of course the very best solution is to have a champion on the inside, but that is easier said than done at this stage in the proceedings. (They need putting into place at an earlier stage.)
One ploy that I sometimes use is to send an email saying something like, “I am assuming that, because we have not heard, that we have been unsuccessful on this occasion.” This usually elicits some sort of response, often with clues as to what is happening. If they say something along the lines of, “We expect to make a decision soon”, they are probably negotiating with a competitor (bad news). If they say, “We haven’t evaluated responses yet”, that is neutral (no news). If they say, “We will be coming back to you and other bidders soon with some clarification questions”, you are still in the frame (and maybe it is down to the final one or two bidders – but they won’t say that) (good news).
So my tip is, if you have not heard, ask the questions – but be circumspect, and take care not to sound desperate. Then interpret the response. It may help, but it may not. If not, sit tight and hold your nerve!