If you’re faced with a tender and have lots of questions: ask the buyer. Some people don’t realise this is an option, but it’s actually a great thing to do. Here are our Top Ten Tips on how to ask the buyer questions relating to any tenders you are working on:
1. Every tender affords the bidder the opportunity to submit their ‘clarification’ questions quickly and easily – it’s the formal and only way to ask questions if you have any confusion around elements of the tender. Asking questions is standard practice and, done well, can even mean that you go up in the buyer’s estimations, ie. it’s a good thing to do!
2. Don’t worry about asking the ‘wrong’ question as other people are probably asking the same as you and tender documents aren’t always perfect, sometimes far from it.
3. All responses will be anonymous, so there is no way of your competitors realising it is you.
4. Check that no-one else has asked the same question as you before you submit it.
5. Give your questions some thought – check with your team first to make sure that they can’t answer the question.
6. Write your questions clearly, politely and ask only one question at a time – otherwise, your reputation could be at stake!
7. Types of questions you might ask could include: questions on how to complete the tender; flagging potential pricing queries; questions on evidence you are required to submit; eligibility, and other errors in the tender (be tactful here!)
8. Have one person within your company as the dedicated person to collate everything and submit all your clarification questions. This person will receive answers to the questions into their email inbox – if the response isn’t clear, they should ask again.
9. Ensure you know when the deadline is for submitting your questions. It’s usually around a week before the tender deadline.
10. Remember, a decent clarification question from you could even help the buyer to resolve any issues or mistakes within the tender – so, ask away!
If you have any other questions about clarification questionnaires or a specific government tender you are working on, please don’t hesitate to ask us (no obligation). We’re on 01392 247997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.