How To Create Winning Tenders

by Kerri Eckart, CEO

Bidding and tendering can be a stressful process. While the rewards are significant, so too is the amount of work that goes into creating a winning bid. So how do you ensure you put your best foot forward each time?

The keys to delivering a successful tender are actually quite simple. Over the years I’ve seen the best and worst examples across many industries, and the lessons are consistent.

Here are six rules to follow to deliver a winning tender:

  • Use clear, concise and engaging language
    Your submission will be read in detail by multiple people. But it’s not just about you. They could be assessing anywhere from three to 30 similar proposals. Make yours engaging and easy to read so they don’t lose interest. Use concise language and short sentences. Cater to a wide range of possible readers by limiting the use of industry jargon, abbreviations and acronyms. Don’t assume only technical experts will be reading your submission. Quite often, non-technical people are assessing tenders. Finally, get creative. Ensure the Word template you use is visually appealing.
  • Be consistent with your language
    Consistency is crucial. If you don’t have a writing style guide, create one. This will ensure consistency of language and terminology across your submission by providing a clear set of rules to follow. Examples include using ‘s’ instead of ‘z’ in the spelling of certain words and how abbreviations, numbers, currencies and bullet points are treated.
  • Ensure the tender speaks in benefits
    Be careful not to focus solely on the features of your service or product. Instead, showcase the benefits your service or product delivers. Tell those assessing the tender why they need to engage you, what you bring to the table and what sets you apart from your competitors. How does their life get better with you in it? Always write in an active voice and incorporate verbs.
  • Connect the dots
    Make your submission logical and easy to follow. That means clearly naming all figures and tables throughout the document and referencing them in the body text. If you are placing information in the appendix, be sure to reference it so those assessing it know it’s there. Don’t assume the reader can connect all of the dots to create the same picture you have. Connect the dots for them.
  • Prove everything you say
    Anyone can make a claim in a tender, but you need to back your claims and statements up with proof for them to carry weight. Provide detailed examples of why your solution or approach works, where it’s worked in the past and why it’s better than competitive solutions/approaches. Use testimonials and relevant case studies to showcase your credibility.
  • Follow the rules of the tender
    The requirements for each tender are clearly stated. Adhere to them. If the deadline for submissions is listed as 4pm, submit before then to ensure your tender is accepted. If the brief requests no more than two pages per answer, don’t decide that three is ok because you have a lot to say. Do this, and you are ignoring the client and that’s not a great way to start a relationship.

Creating a winning tender is easy if you know how to do it, and the pitfalls to avoid.

If you want to improve your success rate, win bigger bids or just get started on the right foot, join our upcoming How To Create Winning Tenders – Workshop where we take you through the process, step-by-step.

Wednesday 14th November 2018
9am-1pm | Queensland State Library

Click here to secure your spot today!

fmadmin, 2018 Focused Marketing