There will probably come a time for your business to tender to win a new contract or client. Whether you’re a small business looking to expand your clientele, or a medium-sized business who has tried to submit bid proposals in response to tender requests in the past but haven’t succeeded, learning how to win a tender is a great skill to master.
Read the Request for Tender documentation carefully
Before you start working on your tender, it is essential to read through every section of the tender documentation and then read it again. This is usually available with the tender notice, and specifies the requirements of each project, the scope of the contract, how to submit the tender and when to submit it by.
Ensure you meet the requirements
Does the contract notice mention any specific minimum requirements that a company or business needs to meet in order to succeed? Do you need any licenses, certifications or memberships? Does your product or service meet the needs of the customer? Does your company have the resources to successfully complete the project if selected?
If the answer to any of the above questions is no, it might be a good idea to reconsider lodging a tender until you find a position where you are sure of success.
Get in touch with the customer
Most customers or organisations explain the evaluation criteria by which you will be assessed in the tender request documents. In case the documentation doesn’t mention this, get in touch with the client and ask using the Q&A or Clarification or Enquiries function before submitting your bid. You may also ask any other questions you have from the organisation in the same way. The answer to your questions will likely be published anonymously and be available for everyone to see to ensure a fair playing field.
Do your research
Once you have assessed your chances of success and asked the customer all your questions, it is now time to figure out who your likely competitors will be and establish your USP to set you apart from them. It is imperative that you thoroughly research the buyer, your competition and the market before you start writing your bid.
Prepare your tender response
Read through the instructions again. Many tenders come with response forms that have a specific template and set strict word limits. When filling in your tender response form, make sure you are answering exactly what is asked in the question. Read between the lines and anticipate the kind of answer your client wants to see. Be concise, accurate and clear in your answers, using graphs, illustrations or diagrams to convey more complicated ideas. Your goal is to catch the attention of your evaluator and hold it; long, winded answers that do not address the selection criteria or promotional riff-raff will likely frustrate your evaluator, and your proposal might be discarded as non-compliant.
Use spell check
Imagine getting a cover letter from a prospective employee for an advertised position where they got your/your company or organisation’s name wrong. You’re likely to chuck it straight into the Deleted Items folder in your mailbox! After all, if the candidate couldn’t take out the time to ensure they use the correct name, how good of an employee could they be?
Don’t make the same mistake as your employee and risk being disqualified just for a spelling error and make sure you edit your proposal before sending it through.
Hire a professional tender writing company
Writing tender proposals is time, energy and resource consuming. Bidsmith can take the guesswork out of submitting a proposal and win you the tender, or offer you some impartial and independent advice to ensure you land every tender you send a proposal out to. But if you just want to learn how to win a tender yourself and want someone to look over your final proposal, reach out to us and we’ll help you with whatever you need!