Getting Started

The tender has landed and you are chomping at the bit to get started. The temptation is to start answering the questions and run to the deadline as quickly as you possibly can, or conversely, it’s to stare blankly at the endless documentation, not knowing where to start. Nearly every bid writer is in either of these two camps.

To help get you focussed on the job in hand, here are our top tips to help you win that all important tender:

  1. Read the instructions and tender specification and then read it again.  Highlight all the areas that demonstrate the buyer’s important factors. These will definitely be the evaluation criteria, (ie. how will they evaluate your response, and set against what?) and most probably be key objectives, visions, key themes etc. Determine how they need the response to be completed and, of course, when they want the response submitted.
  2. Read each question with your own questions in mind. Why are they asking this? What information are they looking for?
  3. Raise clarification questions in good time as there will be a clarification deadline. Once it passes, that’s it, no more clarification. If you are leaving it until after the deadline you may be bidding blindly.
  4. Present the key benefits of your offering. Don’t be a feature-centric bidder. Your features will mean nothing without you explicitly presenting the benefit. Align the key benefits of your offering to their vision or key objectives. Spell it out.
  5. Don’t settle for the bare minimum. It will never win. If there are word limits, go as close to them as is possible. Don’t blag or repeat yourself. Be aware that there is a selected a word count limit because that represents the importance placed on the question.  Always expand on your answers and give as much detail as possible.
  6. Keep the language simple. Remember that your intention is to clearly communicate the benefits that your organisation can bring to the contract. Unnecessarily elaborate words will not gain you extra points – if anything they might go against you.
  7. Bite size chunks with a clear heading structure. Use headers that are aligned to their key considerations. Make it easy for them to pick out the salient areas to ensure your response is positively evaluable.
  8. Provide evidence. Where possible, evidence your response with testimonials and stats. Convince the buyer of your organisation’s strengths through experience.
  9. Have your submission proofread and reviewed by someone who has not been involved in the preparation. A professional, fresh pair of eyes can spot costly mistakes and weak areas and see it from the viewpoint of the evaluator – an incredibly worthy investment.
  10. Submit on time. Of course!

If you would like more information on how to write a tender or expert advice about a specific, live tender, please contact us here or call 01392 247997.