There really is no one-size-fits-all approach for your response when it comes to tenders. Yet, it’s amazing just how many companies think it’s fine to treat an RFT as though there is. Truth is, if you don’t take the time to tailor your responses to the tenderer’s exact requirements, then you’ll soon find yourself with a first-class ticket on the good ship, Disappointment.
Take on board these five top tips to guarantee smooth sailing.
1. Define your value proposition
Just like the writing through a stick of Brighton rock, your value proposition should be there for all to identify right throughout your tender. Comprising three to four key selling messages – no more! –your better-than-the-rest value proposition should be clearly articulated throughout your answers.
2. Appoint a captain
You could find your tender efforts ending up in the doldrums if you don’t delegate one person to act as captain and lead the tender. As project manager, this highly responsible individual needs to be given authority to chase up everyone who is contributing.
3. Actions speak louder than words
Tender deadlines are generally set in concrete; they’re just not going to move. Avoid getting bogged down by too much discussion about details – you simply can’t afford the time. An agenda for each tender response team meeting is an excellent idea because it will help you maintain a steady course. Most important, don’t leave the meeting without everyone understanding what they need to do, by when. Oh, and always follow that up with an email.
4. Keep things on an even keel
Steer clear of over-emphasising one part of your response at the expense of another. Excess weight on one aspect risks putting your response out of balance and may capsize the whole thing. It will also be abundantly clear to the prospect that you’re not confident in all areas. Remember, as far as they’re concerned, every section of the bid is equally important.
5. Keep afloat
It’s imperative that you always keep your tender response process moving along, otherwise you’ll find yourself facing a perfect storm in the days leading up to the deadline. Too much time and energy invested to abandon ship, not enough time to change course.
Not paying attention to the points above can mean your tender writing project is far more stressful than it needs to be. Clear thought and decisive planning can make all the difference and will see you successfully navigate your way through the process.