What not to say in your proposal, tender or bid

If responding to requests for tenders or proposals is something your business can’t avoid, you can make writing a tender or a proposal a little easier – and at the same time, improve their quality – by knowing what not to do.

Here are three things to avoid in your tenders and proposals.

  1. Don’t be passive

First of all, it’s wise to avoid using the passive voice.

  • Passive voice example: The project will be managed so that it fulfils the government’s sustainability requirements.

It’s always almost better to use the active voice. This is more direct and so it’s therefore clearer and quicker for the reader to understand what you’re saying.

  • Active voice example: We will manage the project to fulfil the government’s sustainability requirements.

2. Don’t be negative

Writing a tender or proposal is about persuading the assessors that your solution is better than that proposed by your competitors. But how do you make your case persuasive?

This can be tricky if you don’t have a lot of experience or data to back up your claims. Even so, it is always essential to present your data in the most positive way. This means finishing with the punch.

  • For example: We have only been in business for two years but we have outperformed on all measures.

Other ways of saying the same thing are:

  • Although we have only been in business for two years, we outperform on all measures.
  • While we are a young business, we have outperformed on all measures since day one.
  1. Don’t dis the team

Be sure to sell the strengths of your team members when you’re writing tenders and proposals. Profiles are mostly very factual and overlook the contributions that the individuals have made.

  • For example, avoid: Susan joined us in 2014. She has previously worked with Big Company and was responsible for leading their sales team.
  • Instead: Susan joined us in 2014 from Big Company, where she led the sales team that delivered year on year growth.

These are just a few quick examples of what not to do when you’re writing your next tender or proposal. For more help, give Proof Communications a call on 0411 123 216. We’ll be delighted to assist you in any way we can.

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