As a company looking to win tenders, there’s a lot to do before you successfully land the contract. As many professional bid writers in Australia will tell you, the tendering process is intense, and often requires a dedicated team on board to focus solely on it. When you’re the sole tender writer, that’s a lot of responsibility that you shoulder — and often it can lead to mistakes down the line that you overlook due to your narrow focus.
When we looked back to learn from our past mistakes, we noticed a bit of a pattern and thus decided to compile a list that best negated them. Here’s how to avoid mistakes even a professional bid writer might make:
Always highlight experience
Sometimes, in an effort to increase one’s chance of winning, tender writers deviate from emphasising on relevant experience and improvise to highlight other facets of the tender. While listing all of your experience can seem essential, often, it is proving how specific experience will best answer what is being asked. When you have successfully completed your tender, always look back at your highlighted experience and ensure you’re highlighting pertinent information.
Use local presence to your advantage
If you’re based within the vicinity of the tender’s requirements and you haven’t pointed out the same in your tender; you’re missing out. Always state your scope and location, especially if you stand to gain from it. If your employees or suppliers work out of that area or conduct business in the same postcode, throw in that nugget of information. Government tenders love to see locals supporting locals — and it’d be wise to cash in on that aspect. In some cases, it could be that point of difference between landing or losing a tender.
Stay on the same page as your company
As a bid writer, it is your job to understand the specifications and answer to them. However, it isn’t a solo traveller’s journey. Knowing exactly what your organisation wishes to gain from this tender, as well as understanding what they’re willing to offer for it, is how you avoid a communication gap. In most cases, technical language will be required for solutions — avoid drowning in jargon and talk to the necessary people in charge. Getting a firm grasp on what each head of department understands and is willing to contribute is a good way to thoroughly answer each section of a tender.
Pick your words to win
Often, when you’re writing tenders, you can get carried away with technical terms and commonly used tender language. Granted, experience makes you wiser, but often this can get in the way of our thinking. Writing in auto-pilot while speedy, can lead to grave errors.
Always take note of the language used by the client when asking for tenders and imitate it. Maintain a certain control on your own tone and style, but where you can, writing to a client the way they’d best read it is how you make matters comprehensive for them. Mirroring their language is a good tactic as often it gives you an idea of the tone they’re expecting.
Always keep it to the point
Tenders are complicated — there’s no hiding it. What’s important is knowing where to draw the line when elucidating a response. Once you’ve drafted a response to a section, comb through it carefully. Is there an unnecessary sentence? Do parts not connect or seem inconsequential? Professional bid writers in Australia are often guilty of this, as it comes with the profession. Being able to accurately hype up our clients is what tender writers do best but it often all comes down to how well a client can actually answer a tender’s conditions.
Here at Bidsmith, our tender writers know how evaluators tick — but just in case, we’re always ready to review because we understand how tricky writing a good tender can be. If you’re looking for experienced tender writers in Australia, we’d be more than happy to help.