At Winning Tenders, we take great pride in providing expert advice and services to those who are seeking professional bid writing and tender support and guidance.
Our team love what they do so we decided to delve into their individual worlds in our new series of team interviews, offering practical advice, tips, and insight as well as a flavour for who they are outside of their professional lives.
This month, we’ve interviewed Daniel Perks, Bid Manager, arts journalist, and theatre connoisseur.
- How did you land on bid writing/management as a career path?
I’ve always loved persuasive writing, that balance of selling a product or service with the research that you need to get inside the client’s head and think about why they would want to buy it. I originally trained on a General Management Graduate scheme with construction company Bouygues, after which I joined the Business Development team. Blue sky thinking, anticipating client needs and the fast-paced projects keep things exciting and fresh for me. Nowadays, I split my time between corporate bid writing and arts journalism – so I get to use my creative writing skills in lots of innovative and thought-provoking ways. I find that they complement each other surprisingly well!
- What industries do you specialise in writing for?
In bid writing, I mainly work in Construction, Facilities Management, Infrastructure and Utilities. A big focus of my work recently has been in public sector, writing bid for the Healthcare, Education, Government and Defence industries. That’s the beauty of tender writing – you can take those transferable skills and inquisitive nature and apply them to a whole host of different sectors.
- What’s your favourite part of the job and why?
I love the initial research part of it all. You have to get inside the client’s head to understand why they are looking to tender services, what they want in an outsourcing partner and how to use this to persuade them that you are the perfect choice. After that comes the blue sky thinking – creating a proposal and crafting a concept that aligns with their mission, values and vision. It’s all about tailoring the best that your customer has to offer into a package that is perfectly in line with the client’s needs.
- Do you have any advice for those looking to become bid writers/managers?
This is the kind of job where you have to work to strict deadlines, manage your clients’ time as well as your own, and be a sponge to quickly assimilate information. My advice would be to soak up all the facts and information that you can – you never know when a piece of news, or development in the industry can be used to your advantage. And most of all, while you do spend a decent portion of your time writing alone, this is fundamentally a business where you have to believe in people. You are trying to distil their passion onto the page, so if you can’t get excited about what they’re selling it’s very difficult to convince others to feel it.
- How would you identify an organisation’s USP?
Talk to them! If they are a client of yours, interview their staff and ask them what it is about their company they find inspiring. We all spend too many hours working to not enjoy our jobs, so listen to them talk about theirs and pull out the energy and drive that they get from their role. Any organisation’s USP lies in the strength of its people, in one way or another. It’s up to us bid writers to find it, package it and sell it.
- How do you wind down after a hard day’s work?
As an arts journalist, my passion is in the theatre. I live in London, so at least 4 nights a week I can typically be found watching a show, networking with other journalists and actors and musicians, or interviewing writers and directors. It’s pretty intense but I love it! My perfect way to wind down is to jump feet first into the worlds that these creatives bring to life on stage.
- Do you have any hobbies, or what do you like doing in your spare time?
Apart from the arts, which keep me very busy, I am a big fan of yoga and pilates and meditation. Want to find me on a weekend? I’ll be in a class somewhere! It’s perfect to focus in on yourself, calm down and relax. If not there, I’ll be in a pub or bar catching up with friends and taking full advantage of London’s activity scene.
- What’s your top tip for creating work/ life harmony?
It’s important to love what you do. But if you are lucky to work in your passion, you still need a balance. And balance is key – there will be days when you are working long hours as a bid writer, in order to perfect your proposal ready for a deadline. So, make sure to counter those with days when you step away from the screen.
- What’s your top tip for those looking to tender?
Do your research. If you’re looking to outsource, think about what you want from the client-customer relationship, what you expect each party to get from the arrangement. It should be positive and collaborative; it should be mutually beneficial. If you’re a company looking to bid for work, get your ducks in a row first. Make sure you have a strong existing client base – these will be your references when bidding for new work. And think about how your offering can be tailored to your clients – no bid should feel as those it’s been pulled straight off a shelf. Every tender should be bespoke, unique, detailed and thought through.
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
As a freelance bid writer, it’s important to keep your networks healthy and growing. So, if you want to connect, you can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Every connection has value, every social media platform can be used to your advantage. Put yourself out there and see what new avenues you discover!