Supercharge your chances of winning that tender with these top tips
It doesn’t matter whether the request for tender you’ve decided to respond to is large or small, it’s going to take considerable effort to put together. You can pump up the value of all that effort and supercharge your chances of winning by remembering these top tips.
Most tender writers put this at the end of their to-do list because they see it as a kind of last minute thing. Sort of in the ‘if we have time’ category. No, no, and no again! Sure, an eye-wateringly thorough proofread needs to be done at the end, but you need to factor in time for it at the beginning. An error-free submission is a reflection of your attention to detail. Why would a prospect want to work with a business already showing them that they don’t care enough to make an effort? Submit a polished, professional-looking bid if you want to be taken seriously.
Writing a tender is not an excuse to go into information overdrive. Truly, the prospect does not want to know every single fact about your company. But what they do want to know is why you think it’s a stellar idea for them to hitch their wagon to yours. In other words, they want to be persuaded. First, you have to understand your customer and identify their needs. Your next step is to match the relevance of your ability to answer those needs so well that they’ll be amazed they haven’t considered working with you before. No relevance? No risk of you winning the tender.
A personal approach
If your tender writing style is to cut and paste a whole heap of responses that are pretty standard then your efforts will be judged by the assessors to be pretty standard, too. You can make your tender far more personal and tailored by doing some serious research on your prospect. This is a vital step as it means that you can put yourself in their shoes. Why do they need help? What is the real problem that they want to overcome? Where is their focus – on cost savings or efficiency? By getting into their mindset and writing from their perspective, you’ll write a far better bid.
Show that you ‘get it’
Are you understanding the problem from the same perspective as the prospect? Always demonstrate that you get where they’re coming from by clearly articulating the issue they want to resolve and what difference resolving it will make to their business. Remember that the bid process is essentially an extended sales process so it’s important to lay the groundwork first. Use their language from the request for tender, from their website, and from their marketing materials to strengthen the sense that you really are working in parallel with them to get this matter sorted.
It’s all about value
Writing a tender that is essentially a shopping list of your capabilities isn’t going to cut it. Your prospect needs to know just how those capabilities are going to be of value to them. Go back to Sales 101. Remember that section on ‘Features and Benefits’ and how to use linking phrases such as ‘which means that’ to turn one into the other? For example, ‘Our sophisticated logistics software pre-sets driver routes for maximum efficiency which means that you’ll receive your goods up to 25% faster.’ Taking the time to ensure your statements are explicit about the benefits of working with your company not only demonstrates good value to your prospect, it supercharges your submission.