If you want to win contracts, talking does help!
It is a basic fact that having a conversation with your prospective customer increases your chances of winning business. You have an opportunity to understand their needs and also check if your solution can meet these needs (ie selling).
This is opposed to working blind: In a formal tender you normally only get the specification and generic requirements eg ‘value for money’, ‘high quality’ etc.
It would be great if ALL of the public sector adopted a more open approach to discussion. It is all too common to find that officials don’t want to discuss contracts until they get near to tendering. Then increasingly stricter tendering rules prohibit any form of discussion (eg contact by email or on-line portal only).
So it is good news that The Cabinet Office said that it will provide an ‘open door’ for current and future suppliers to discuss upcoming procurement opportunities to aid this process.
In the meantime, use any reasonable opportunity available to talk to prospects and get a real insight to their specific needs.