Not all stress is created equal when it comes to writing a tender to win or renew business. It’s true that a moderate amount of stress can be beneficial; a great opportunity is exciting, causing a rush of energy and enthusiasm that can be channelled into a winning proposal. More often than not, however, tender stress is a direct result of feeling too challenged or overwhelmed.
These six strategies will help minimise tender stress and increase your likelihood of success:
You’ll need to address certain topics again and again in your tenders, bids and proposals – such as your company profile, value adds, delivery plan and key differentiators. Rather than trawling through previous work as you rack your brain trying to remember where you’ve written about a topic before, organise your content in a logical and accessible library. And before content goes into the library, make sure it’s benefit-focused, persuasive and error-free. If you don’t have the in-house resources with the skills or time to do this important prep work, consider engaging a professional.
Assess the opportunity.
Put some time aside to properly evaluate your next tender opportunity, assess your strengths and weaknesses, and determine your likelihood of success. Don’t bypass this important step – it could save you a huge amount of time and money if you decide it’s not the right opportunity for you.
If an opportunity comes along that’s worth a lot to your business, give it the attention it deserves. You may have a lot of work to do right now, but this opportunity could significantly boost your revenue and grow your business. Think long-term and you will reap the rewards in years to come.
Focus your team’s efforts on agreeing upon key messages and strategies that will give your response structure, purpose, and cohesiveness. Before throwing yourself into writing and pricing your response, follow these simple guidelines to ensure you’re co-ordinated and focused.
Don’t leave things until the last minute.
Bids and tenders often land on your desk when you’re already swamped with a copious amount of work. At times, the easiest thing to do is simply add them to the pile, or even pretend they don’t exist until the deadline looms. Evaluators can always tell if a tender is written the night before it’s due. They may even interpret a sloppy response as a lack of commitment to the opportunity on your part. On the other hand, a tightly crafted, well-edited response is more compelling, easier to read, and helps your key messages standout. If this is not your strong suit, leave it to the professionals.
Share responsibilities and work as a team.
Collaborating internally and empowering subject matter experts within your team to contribute their knowledge and experience is good for both staff morale and your tender. Importantly, if you win the tender, celebrate as a team and acknowledge the hard work that each and every person put into the winning solution.