How to sell public sector training w/ Peter Smith (Part 2)

Peter Smith Selling public sector training
Peter Smith Selling public sector training – image copyright Peter Smith Bad Buying

I tend to stick to training private sector businesses. But I’ve been involved in some pretty substantial rollouts of training to local and national government departments.

Early in my training career, I worked as an associate trainer with SureSkills. It was a substantial project training the civil service in Northern Ireland over several months.

At the time, I focused on program delivery, so I was completely unaware of the process of selling public sector training. There is actually lots to learn here!

Luckily today’s guest Peter Smith is a procurement expert. Peter has managed large teams of buyers. The kinds of people who buy training consultancy from people like you and me.

*This the part 2 of our chat with Peter Smith so listen back to last week’s episode if you missed it.


pexels cytonn photography 955389
Selling Public Sector Training – Photo by Cytonn Photography:

Public sector training bid process

“When it comes to selling public sector training, the evaluation process can vary a lot.

And when it comes to shortlisting or selecting you as a training consultant, procurement might give different weightings to different things.

Decision makers might decide that the quality of your training proposal is given a weighting of 60% but that the pricing of your training proposal is given a weighting of 40%.

How are they marking price?

Procurement people (decision makers) might award ‘marks’ to different factors to help them choose a vendor.

For example, if your price is 10,000 and another training consultant decides to charge 20,000, how many ‘marks’ is each provider going to get?

Just because the consultant who bids 20,000 is twice as expensive as you, does that mean that your bid is going to be awarded twice the marks?

So the training provider with the lowest price is not necessarily the one with the highest chance of winning.

Know the evaluation process

I’ve seen this complexity when I’ve helped companies to bid on public sector consulting contracts.

  • How are bids actually being marked?
  • What are the ‘weightings’ given to things like price, quality etc.?
  • What is the evaluation process?

The evaluation process is usually the first thing I look at when I help companies to bid on public sector contracts…

Bad Buying

The fact is that government departments and public sector bodies have to be seen to get value for money. That makes sense.

Unfortunately, many procurement specialists aren’t necessarily experts in training or consulting so they don’t always understand what they are buying.

In many cases, governments and councils waste horrendous amounts of tax payers money.

“In fact that’s what my 4th book on procurement is all about. It’s called Bad Buying.”

The point is that when you are selling public sector training, you don’t just need to understand the process, you have to understand the mindset and values of buyers.

Listen to the episode now!

Take-aways you don’t want to miss

  • What does a small training / consulting business need to have in place?
  • What are the stages of the procurement process?
  • How competitive is it to sell consulting to public sector
  • How important is pricing your consulting
  • Which skills are needed to write a bid?
  • Where can you find a bid-writer or tender writer?
  • How important is paper or electronic submissions?
  • How do you stand out from the competition?
  • How are bids scored or evaluated?

Some resources for you

Buying Professional Services: How to get value for money from consultants
Bad Buying: How organizations waste billions through failures, fraud and f**k ups
Procurement with Purpose: How organizations can change the way they spend money now

Check out the episode now!


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