How to Realize That the Competition Is Asking You for a Proposal

One of the founding partners of Coguan sees danger everywhere. We fit together quite well since I tend to risk too much and trust that everyone acts in good faith and with the best intentions. Behind 80% of the proposals that clients ask for, he sees the danger that there is a competitor behind who is trying to get “secret” information about us and how we do our business.

The Danger of Providing Valuable Information to the Competition

Surely he will be right in some cases, although Ethiopia B2B List the issue does not concern me so much, but it really has to do with our type of business and product. In our sector prices are more or less transparent or at least easy to obtain with a little research. To find out what a visit to your online store costs you, for example, it is enough to use the Google Adwords tool for keywords to get an idea.

Although for Coguan the matter is not very important, in other sectors and cases it can be a significant disadvantage to work without knowing it for the competition:

Waste of time – Preparing proposals that are not going to generate revenue is a poor use of resources. The worst way to spend your time is even working for the competition.
Loss of critical information : in any case, the information that you pass on to clients will sooner or later end up in the hands of the competition. But maybe you are interested in the fact that obtaining critical data is not easy for them.
Existing Client Contacts – In some proposals there may be success stories or client references. In this case you are providing contacts or at least names of companies that work with you.
They shorten the distance towards you : you still have some “secrets” or “tricks” that allow you to play with a small advantage over your competitors. In the end, these things are always found out, but if you deliver them directly, you shorten the time they would have needed to discover it anyway.

Indicators That Show You That a Competitor Could Be Behind a Proposal

Ethiopia Business Email List
Ethiopia Business Email List

In only 10-20% of suspicions there is really a real case behind a strange request. In my experience, you run the risk of wasting your time preparing a proposal for the competition if one or more indicators are met.

1. The request arises from a private email : to hide who is behind many companies do not make the proposal request with the company email. If it really is a competitor you could find out immediately. There are still people who have not yet set up their companies and for that reason are not yet using a professional email. Apart from giving a bad image, it is an exception to the rule that the use of a company email usually uses.

2. Your contact is an intern : if you have to deal with a very young profile, it is typically an intern. Sometimes it  also hidden as a market study that is carries out as a final year project. In reality, your contact is on internship and has the task of extracting interesting information and data from the competition.

3. They ask for a very detailed proposal : many clients are not 100% clear about what they want. Even if they have it, they prefer that you tell them so they can see that you understand your business. It is not typical to receive a very detailed request asking questions that usually arise after meeting 1 or 2 times with a person.

4. They have information that a client would not have : although it should be their job, a client does not carry out a detailed search about you beforehand. Your competition that job if you usually do. They usually have data that is publicly available but requires a couple of hours of research to obtain.


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