Think & Win Bids

Winning High-Value, High-Stakes Bids through Superior Questioning, Listening and Thinking Skills


109 USD

Book,134 pages (196mm x 128mm), paperback

Audio Files on USB – All chapters professionally narrated by British narrator, Adam Goodwin.  



The three fundamental skills of a genuinely sharp, sustainably successful bid/proposal/tender professional are the ability to think, listen and ask quality questions.

It sounds simple and logical, yet it’s these very skills that are noticeably absent in many bid, business development or sales executives today . . . as unpopular as this assertion may be.

Furthermore, formulating successful business development and bid strategies is the process of research and thinking; not the product of tools and templates.

The capacity and willingness for a bid leader or business development professional to think deeply, logically, strategically and client-centrically is a key differentiator between those who can sustain a high win rate and provide much-needed leadership in new-business pursuits, and those who flounder in such a role.

It’s a skill set that can be taught – so long as the necessary degree of humility and “coachability” exists. And that’s the reason this book was written. Its title is an unashamed play on that of the all-time business classic, Think & Grow Rich, penned in 1937 by leading business thinker of his time, Napoleon Hill.

Think & Win Bids is more than a catchy title. It’s a book with a strong message and a wealth of commanding insights into the fundamentals of winning bids . . . including the need to deeply understand a potential customer or client organisation, the world in which it operates, its intended procurement, and the all-important backdrop against which that procurement is being made.


  • The importance of understanding your customer or client organisation and its procurement from a holistic (versus a narrow, service- or product-focused) perspective.
  • How to gain a detailed and bid-winning appreciation of the procurement psyche of your prospective customer or client organisation.
  • How to determine the most valuable information to acquire about a customer or client organisation’s intended procurement and the bigger picture directing or impacting it.
  • How to plan for the acquisition of the above points of critical knowledge.
  • The difference between high-value and low-value conversations and how to plan for the former.
  • The specific differences between great listeners and average listeners.
  • What highly effective business development operatives and bid professionals do that average ones don’t.
  • The many types of information available to help inform your bid strategy, and how to source them.
  • Little-known sources of competitor information.
  • The criticality of channelling information back, in a valuable format, from the client or customer coalface to the bid team.
  • What you need to know when your client organisation has its own (up-the-line) client.
  • How to take advantage of arrogance on the part of the competition.
  • The importance of avoiding arrogance in your own organisation.
  • The value of “sleuthing” the customer’s documentation versus simply “reading” it.
  • The critical distinction between “features” and “benefits” and how to capitalise on your ability to translate one into the other.
  • What constitutes bid strategy . . . and what doesn’t.
  • How to turn raw information into bid-winning intelligence.
  • Working wide while drilling deep in the strategy formulation phase.
  • How to develop a winning bid strategy.
  • Why “thorough” is the best default position when it comes to strategy.
  • Why talk of “silver bullets” is naive.
  • How to avoid confusing tactics with strategy.
  • Why templating is the opposite of thinking.
  • The importance of documenting your bid blueprint in detail.
  • How to position your organisation as a trusted advisor.
  • How to get the most out of a de-brief.
  • How to hire the most effective professional support.

5 reviews for Think & Win Bids

  1. CMSadmin (verified owner)

    “Kelly, through her unique ability to share both experience and deep insight, articulates the paramount importance of asking, listening and deep thinking in understanding the client’s mind, towards the objective of producing successful business development and bid strategy.

    “She challenges us from our complacency, calling us out on our guilty shortcuts of the past, and in doing so provides a salient reminder of the commitment and effort required to consistently win the biggest deals. Moreover, she also offers guidance on how to do it better than you thought you needed to do.

    “She provides lessons in humility that anyone in business development or selling in complex environments or markets can well use.”

    Rod Naylor
    General Manager
    Veolia Water North America
    (New York)
  2. CMSadmin (verified owner)

    “. . . We have included your books for distribution to our teams around the world . . .”

    Don Braid
    Group Managing Director
    Mainfreight Limited
    New Zealand
  3. CMSadmin (verified owner)

    “Ms. Kelly, I think your book ‘Think & Win Bids’ is a ‘must read’ for anyone who is responding to what we (Americans) refer to as ‘Partnering’, ‘Integrated Project Delivery’ or ‘Requests for Proposal’ (RFP) type contracting.

    “In particular, I think this book is essential for anyone bidding on AUSAID, USAID, UN Projects Office (UNOPS) World Bank, Asian Development Bank, NGOs or any other project funded by bi-lateral or multi-lateral donor agencies which are selecting their contractors, vendors and consultants not based on price but on value for money.”

    Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo (CDT, CCE, MscPM, MRICS)
    Sr. Technical Advisor
    PT Mitratata Citragraha
  4. CMSadmin (verified owner)

    “Written in jargon-free terms, ‘Think & Win Bids’ sets out a surprisingly simple premise for successfully bidding for major infrastructure projects; winning (consistently) depends on the bidder’s willingness and savvy when it comes to the simple act of listening, and the not-so-simple act of knowing how to ask ‘quality questions’.

    “Jordan Kelly pulls no punches in her perspective of superficial ‘win themes’ and the need for something more insightful and substantial in delivering tailored, attentive proposals. I finished the book with a clearer understanding of how to assist clients in formulating and effecting bid strategy (both before and after the official procurement phases) without the need for gimmicks, but focused on the basic skill of listening. This may well become required reading for all bid managers and others involved in bidding projects.”

    David Holden
    Russell McVeagh Lawyers
  5. CMSadmin (verified owner)

    “I enjoyed reading your book as I can identify closely with a great deal of your tuition and the topics you cover.

    “Most of all, I value that you have outlined clear and correct processes for conducting relevant research, asking the right questions, and usefully using what has been gained from these processes.

    “For those who regularly produce bids as a matter of course, the book is a good reminder to conscientiously make an effort to observe in a quality manner, and to first hear and think through the client’s needs before rushing into the production of a bid.

    “For those who are new to bids, the book quite rightly states that they should not expect a specific list of agenda items for bid strategy sessions, as templating is the opposite of thinking.

    “Some of my most valued take-aways from reading the book are that strategy formulation is a fluid process, and that we must at all times guard against complacency in the form of assumptions based on past experiences or pre-conceived ideas.”

    Dr TING, Seng Kiong
    Council Member, Singapore
    International Society of Project Managers
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