A winning tender
Knowing you are the right person to do the job and actually winning the tender can be too different things. A winning tender or bid can be thought of as a successful ‘silent sales representative’. The documentation is your sales pitch and represents the quality standards of your business – it must be perfect and complete.
Your documentation will either win or lose your tender irrespective of whether your business products are the best suited to do the job. Doesn’t seem fair? Fair or not, your tender documentation carries a lot of responsibility – so take your time with it, engage the right people to put it together even if it means outsourcing.
Be clear on the purpose of the tender
Read the specifications or brief at least three times so your understanding is clear. Understand the evaluation criteria as that will give you insight into how your tender will be viewed and where you could possibly outshine your competitors.
Your point of difference from your competitors will enable you to stand out from the crowd, offer the best value for money as well as meeting all the requirements and expectations of the contract. You need to provide a convincing case that you not only have the commitment to do the job your business also has the competence and capacity.
Some useful tips for that tender application:
- Respond to all the requirements of the brief.
- Support your information with specific information and appendix if needed.
- Illustrate through your documentation that you understand the requirements down to the smallest detail.
- Demonstrate your attention to detail through the thoroughness of your documentation.
- Define the benefits of your service and how they will be delivered.
- Be flexible in your approach and be clear on the value for money it will bring. This will also relate to your point of difference and show how you can exceed the requirements and expectations of the brief without increasing costs.
- Create a quality document that is concise, clear and logical throughout.
- Avoid waffle and stay focused.
- Utilise creative flair by good use of headings, subheadings, effective use of white space and visual imagery where possible.
- Keep your sentences short and to the point.
- Keep your language simple and use active voice.
- Stay grammatically correct and keep to Australian spelling of words.
- Avoid jargon unless it is used in the original brief.
- Use images, graphs or charts combined with a sharp and focused written explanation. This can be very powerful and reviewers will remember images more so than just the written word.
Be kind to your reviewers
After all, you want them to give you the contract. Reviewers get tired and may skim documents that present as ‘too hard’. Well presented, clear and fully responsive documents will go straight to their ‘A list’. Don’t make any assumptions or think the reviewers will ‘know that’. The only assumption you should make is that you need to define everything, clarify everything and respond to everything in the original brief.
A winning tender is a bit of work – but well worth it.