Have you fallen victim of the complacency trap?

More often than not, most people do not even know they are stuck in the trap.

Just like the compliance trap that we’ve spoken about earlier, avoiding the complacency trap goes to the core of what we do at Aurora Marketing.

Unlike the compliance trap, it is more difficult to recognise the signs that you are in the complacency trap. The complacency trap comes about when you get too comfortable. Your success rate is great, your bids seem to be hitting the mark and business is generally going well. Everything is great, therefore you can’t be in the complacency trap, right?

No. No way. Wrong.

To best explain, I’m going to wheel out another Aurora Marketing analogy… This time it is about shoes, more specifically hiking shoes.

Preparing for our honeymoon where we were going to walk the Overland Track in Tasmania, we noticed our hiking boots were a little worse for wear. The tread was on the thin side and the inside of our shoes had definitely seen better days. As an avid hiker, I know how long it takes to break in a new set of shoes. The last thing you want on a long multi-day hike is to get blisters on the first day.

In this example, the complacency trap would be to not get new shoes because the old ones were so comfortable, and we wanted to make them stretch for one more trip. Luckily, we didn’t fall into the complacency trap because we assessed the situation early enough to be able to get, and break-in, new shoes. We did our research. We learned that the Overland Track during October is likely to be very wet with patchy snow, and the track required some serious rock-hopping. Thankfully, we were armed with very grippy shoes, unlike some of our walking companions who wish they hadn’t fallen into the complacency trap, when they literally slipped down the rocks due to lack of grip.

In summary, the complacency trap comes about when you stop asking questions and take things for granted. It happens when you get too comfortable with your level of experience and knowledge, and especially when you project your own values and beliefs – rightly or wrongly – onto a situation rather than taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.

  • How does this translate to the world of tendering?
  • The complacency trap is where we say things like ‘we always do it this way’, ‘we did it this way last time’, ‘we always use these reviewers’, or even when we assemble the same team in the same roles. If we find a comfort zone where things are easier, it’s a problem when we are in a competition like a tender and need to keep innovating, challenging and pushing boundaries to develop better solutions and better value.

We might even hear things like ‘the client loves us’, ‘we’ll be tough to beat’, or various statements of confidence that the deal is done.

So how do you make sure you avoid the complacency trap?

Go back to basics – ask the questions

Avoid the complacency trap by approaching each tender with a fresh set of eyes. Go back to the basics and ask the necessary client questions:

  • Who is the client?
  • Who are the decision makers?
  • What is driving this decision?
  • What would be their ideal scenario?
  • What keeps them awake at night?

Make sure you understand the opportunity. What are their highest priorities as opposed to the must deliver, nice to have and cherry on top elements. What are the challenges? What does a solution look like and what does failure look like?

Assess your competition! Look at them through fresh eyes. Have they just released a new product? To understand your competition, you will also need to put yourself in the client’s shoes. In their mind, who can deliver this project and who is the front-runner and why? Where do we sit in the client’s mind?

Taking things from granted means you are putting your head in the sand. Don’t be complacent. Ask the questions. This is how we avoid the complacency trap. But it’s all part of a wider, crucial shift needed in a team’s bid mindset.

For assistance in avoiding the complacency trap and paving the way for the highest standard of bid response you’ve ever done before, contact us today at Aurora Marketing on 07 3211 4299 or info@auroramarketing.com.au 

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