The one thing you absolutely must do before you start tender writing

If you’ve suddenly become your company’s tender writer, you’ll want to know the difference between a poor tender response and a successful one.

One word: research.

It’s a fact of business life that companies submit tenders to organisations they have no relationship with all the time.

Of course, knowing or being known to a prospective customer can be a big advantage if you’re preparing a tender. But all is not lost if you decide to tender to a company or government body you’ve never worked with or is unlikely to know you.

If you’re not able to meet with the prospect during the tender process, there’s one thing you must do before you start tender writing. And that’s your research.

Researching potential prospects before you start preparing your tender submission will make a world of difference. By understanding the prospect’s background, pain and pleasure points, you can better frame your tender response.

Here are our recommendations on the best way to get to know your prospect:

Enlist Google

Much of the information you’ll need to demonstrate that you’re an interested and well-informed tenderer is freely and readily available online.

Google your prospect’s name and see what comes up. Look at their website and annual report. Check the latest news about them for topical information and context.

Take note of your prospect’s mission and vision. This company wants to be great at what it does, and your tender will be more meaningful to them if you identify how your products or services can help achieve their vision.

Search for recent third-party publications mentioning your prospect and their industry for insights into things being done well and challenges.

Spend time reviewing their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts to confirm what your prospect is talking about, what people say about them, and learn about the people who work there.

Reach out to your network

Ask your colleagues and contacts if they know the prospect and have any insights into their organisation.

If you have accounts with business research organisations, use them. If not, and if you often find yourself tendering to companies with which you have no relationship, consider taking out membership.

Mine the information you collect to understand the nature of the prospect’s business so you can take their point of view into account. Ask questions such as:

  • Why is the prospect issuing this tender, and why now?
  • What does the prospect care about?
  • What are the prospect’s likely concerns about the service, product or project you are tendering for?
  • What are they hoping to achieve from the tender process?
  • What difficulties has the prospect had over the last 12-24 months?
  • What are the prospect’s cultural features: men/women/age/locations/history/values?
  • What are the prospect’s plans for the next 2-3 years?
  • Who are the prospect’s clients?
  • What does the Request for Tender tell you about what they are looking for?
  • Who are the prospect’s decision makers? What do you know about them? What is important to them?
  • Who are the prospect’s competitors? Where does the prospect sit in their market?
  • What does the prospect know about your business, if anything?

When you have a picture of your prospect, you’ll find writing your tender response much easier as you’ll be able to put yourself into the prospect’s shoes. You’ll find it easier, for example, to focus on the benefits rather than the features you have to offer.

Preparing for tenders can be challenging, but Proof Communications is always here to guide you through the process.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call on 02 9314 7506 or 0411 123 216, or contact us via our form.

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