A good response to an RFT will include all the relevant information requested in the exact format required. So far, so predictable. But it pays to remember that your bid isn’t Robinson Crusoe. In fact, it’s almost certainly just one amongst sometimes hundreds of others. That’s why tender panel assessors are always on the qui vive for bids that really spark their interest by unashamedly stating their unique selling points (USP) wherever possible.
Goods and services
The RFT will make it clear what you need to supply; you need to make it clear how your product more than answers that need. Is it more innovative than your competitors’ product or service and why is your version better? Can you consistently supply it at a more competitive price? Is the product the same, but the way you deliver it more innovative and flexible than anyone else?
Does your location mean you can supply in double quick time? Does it mean ease and speed of service calls? Perhaps your product or service is made locally, so you can accommodate last minute or one-off orders? What kind of difference does your location make to your carbon footprint?
Real value for money means meeting price objectives and showing how you’ve taken into account non-cost factors such as quality, and the training and back-up service you can provide. Does your pricing offer pay-offs in terms of sustainability? How flexible can you be in terms of cost?
Having experienced people on board whose expertise is an exact match for the needs of the contract is a massive USP. What are your team’s specific skills? Are they considered experts in their field? Can you provide proof of how they’ve contributed to their industry? What recognition have they received?
Setting the standard
Every tenderer wants reassurance they’re placing their contract in safe hands. Is your business accredited? Do you have the appropriate processes and standards in place which demonstrate your commitment to outstanding WHS performance? What about your high standards relating to the environment, to staff development or community service?
Awarding a contract to a new supplier always carries an element of risk, so if this is the kind of contract you’ve successfully delivered before then source some really strong references which can allay any concerns. Don’t hesitate to show records proving you’ve consistently under-promised and over-delivered, or that your customers are happy and satisfied. Case studies are ideal to prove your point, particularly if they include details regarding savings made in time, resources and costs.
Defining your USPs is not an exact science; they’ll often change depending on what you’re being asked to supply and market conditions at the time. Taking the time to define your USP for every section of the RFT will give you the direction you need to then write clear and compelling answers which will catch an assessor’s eye and give your bid the maximum chance of winning.