Writing a tender can be a big undertaking: there’s a lot of documentation to amass and a big time commitment to plan and articulate your offering.
The good news is that when you’ve written your first tender, you’ve helped set yourself up for the next one.
Here are some tips and tricks for tender writing success:
Use the templates provided – this is important because the buyer will want to compare the offer made by different companies, and find specific information quickly and efficiently. Therefore if you’ve altered the templates, your tender may be disqualified from the process.
Answer all the questions – sometimes the questions may seem repetitive, but don’t be tempted to copy and paste answers or write ‘see above response’. Identify what specifically the question is asking and tailor your answer. This will show you’re responsive to the buyer and their requirements.
Remember it’s about the buyer – use words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ when you can. Be careful to personalise your tender response and clearly address what the buyer will gain from working with your company. Show that you have the specialist capability, knowledge and skills to meet their needs.
Demonstrate your capability – it’s easy to write sweeping, unfounded statements, but unless these are backed up with proof, they are meaningless. You need evidence of your successes: client lists, testimonials, award wins and media can help show you’re an expert in your field.
Write a succinct response – don’t write long, rambling answers in the hope you’ll cover off what they’re looking for somewhere! Your tender response will be more powerful and persuasive if you’re clear and confident on your selling points. This means you have to really understand the buyer’s requirements and present them a compelling offer.
Give your best offer – your price needs to demonstrate value for money, and your solution needs to show you understand the buyer’s requirements, know what you’re doing, and you have the capability to meet their needs.
Gather supporting information – there’s usually a lot of documentation you need to provide alongside your tender, such as policies and procedures, financials and references. Make sure your references are recent and, if possible, relevant to the client.
Proofread your submission – when you have a lot of people contributing to a document it can become disjointed in style and tone. A final edit and proofread will make sure it speaks in one voice and pick up any spelling and punctuation errors that could make you look less professional.