Procurement by Tender – The Real Reasons Why Businesses Fail at their First Attempt

Most businesses fail with their first attempt at a formal tender. They needn’t, but they do. This prompts some to give up: ‘I tried it once, didn’t get anywhere, it’s a waste of time.’

This is a shame. Formal tenders are the route to larger contracts, repeat business, and the opportunity to earn more revenue while having fewer clients to manage.

One reason that businesses give up is that they fail to grasp the reasons for their failure. They console themselves with the notion that the result was a foregone conclusion, or that the winning bidder came in with a ‘giveaway’ price. This is rarely the reality.

Here are two of the main reasons that first attempt tenders fail:

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What to do When the RFQ isn’t Clear

It’s not unusual to receive an unclear RFQ. You find yourself having to interpret your client’s precise needs or struggling to understand exactly how different sections of the tender will be evaluated. At this point many businesses are unsure or what to do.

Some worry that asking for clarification might be seen as a sign that they don’t understand the client’s business or how to deliver the contract. Others might be concerned about irritating the client by implicitly criticising their RFQ writing capabilities.

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