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 Rob Gill, Bid Manager / Writer and music aficionado.
- How did you land on bid writing as a career path?
I was a Facilities Manager for various organisations, and I was asked to write 14 SLAs for hard and soft facilities management at a new Private Finance Initiative hospital in South East London. At the end of the project the Managing Director turned to me and said, “Well done. We are now bidding for another hospital and I’ve put you forward as the Bid Manager”. 12 major hospital bids later I figured I was a Bid Manager / Writer.
- What industries do you specialise in writing for?
I’ve tried not to niche myself as the skills for writing and managing are the same in all sectors and industries – it’s only the jargon that changes. That said, I have most experience in healthcare and social care, education and schools, construction and deer culling
- What’s your favourite part of the job and why?
I love the interaction with the Subject Matter Experts. I find I learn so much about the sector from them and I find it fascinating – for example I know a lot about deer culling now both in terms of the skill as well as what happens to deer after they are shot. Trying to craft the answer to make it interesting to read is challenging and I get satisfaction from a well-crafted response
- Do you have any advice for those looking to become bid writers?
Keep it simple. Using complex sentences and long words is easy. Making it concise and understandable takes a lot more skill.
- How do you identify an organisation’s Unique Selling Point?
In my experience true USPs are rare. Often competitors are very similar and what is deemed a USP is replicated in other organisations. Using a competitor analysis often drives out the differentiators which are more useful in win strategies when true USPs don’t exist.
- How do you wind down after a hard day’s work?
Er…. Wind down… not sure what that is. There is always more work to be done. It doesn’t help that I run a music school as well as writing bids so that fills any spare time.
- Do you have any hobbies, or what do you like doing in your spare time?
Keeping the music theme, I’m learning to play drums, and in the current lockdown trying to recapture the fitness of a long-lost youth!
- What’s your top tip for creating work/life harmony?
Work from home as much as you can – this allows you to have quiet space to write. Use technology as much as possible – we are all doing this more now. This means I don’t miss any of my children’s’ school events, keep my mental health in check and contribute to saving the planet by not community.
- What’s your top tip for those looking to tender?
Pick the tenders you can actually win. Then go for it big time. don’t bid if you have no relationship with the authority, don’t bid if someone says its ‘a strategic bid’, don’t bid if you can’t do it, don’t bid if you can’t win it.
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
Winning bids and tenders isn’t a science. It’s really simple and don’t believe anyone who says it is complicated. Read the tender docs. Write simple words keeping it clear and concise. Answer the questions – fully. Show the evidence to what you write and show them what benefit they will get from appointing you.
Above all, enjoy it.