Five tips on writing tenders like an expert tender writer

You’ve no doubt heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

It’s the definition that often comes to mind when we’re contacted by frustrated businesses seeking support after they’ve submitted countless tenders and proposals without success.

Often, when we see the tenders these businesses have submitted in the past, it doesn’t surprise us that they’ve been struggling to get wins on the board.

These businesses are leaders in their industries and experts at what they do. But that doesn’t mean they are experts in navigating the tender process or writing a tender that wins.

If you’re looking to improve your tenders without calling in an expert, here are five things we recommend you do:

1. Make a clear offer

Before you start writing, think about the strategy for your tender. Consider:

  • What is the prospect looking for?
  • How does your service meet those needs?
  • What are the 3-4 key benefits or offers you can make to this prospect?

Your offer should differ from prospect to prospect, depending on what they seek, their industry or market, and your relationship to date.

Even if you only take five minutes to think about your response strategy, you’ll find that being clear about what you are offering from the outset makes your tender easier to write.  

2. Remember who you’re tendering to

Many tenders are all ‘we, we, we’.

When we read clients’ previous tenders, we often have no idea who they were tendering to. There’s no use of the prospect’s name. There’s nothing about the prospect’s needs or business.

It’s important to make a connection with your prospect. Ensure you use their name, highlight your understanding of their needs and use ‘you’, ‘your’, ‘us’ and ‘we’. Make it all about them.

3. Tweak and tailor your content

We know tender content is often cut and pasted from previous tenders or other marketing documents. While this is a great time-saver, you must tailor all content to your prospect and their Request for Tender or Proposal.

This means editing your tender. Tailoring your content shows you have truly considered how your services will fulfil the prospect’s needs.

4. Answer the questions by setting out the benefits of your solution or service

Your prospect seeks to understand how they will benefit by using your service or solution.

Benefits are not features. Too often, we see responses that focus on features, not benefits.

Benefits are what the user of your service or product will gain – What’s In It For Them? Features are what you or your product does. Benefits are the outcomes achieved: faster, quicker, cheaper, larger, smoother, smaller and so on.

Focus on the benefits you can offer, and you will be well on your way to tender success.

5. Keep your language simple and straightforward

Get to the point. Cut out superfluous words, and make sure someone proofreads your tender before you submit it.

Bonus tip: Never add information that your prospect has not requested because you think it will help. It won’t!

For assistance from an experienced tender writer or to use our fixed fee Tender Audit Service, where we review and report back on your recent tenders, call 02 9314 7506 or 0411 123 216, or contact us via our form.

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