Following on from our popular blog on Three simple tender writing tips for success here are four more to keep in mind:
#1 Don’t be indecisive
Make early, clear-cut decisions on the scope of your bid – this may include choosing areas or categories you will bid for, as well as nominating team members.
Late changes to any part of the scope may have far-reaching implications and affect many sections of the tender response. They will certainly add to the overall time, cost and stress of production.
See more at Breaking bad bid habits.
#2 Don’t assume prior knowledge of you and your firm (even if you are incumbents)
You can never be 100% certain about the procurement process, so don’t assume the evaluation committee has any prior knowledge of you and your firm. Even if you have strong relationships with internal staff, they may not be involved in evaluating tenders or have any decision making power.
Set the scene briefly and remind evaluators of the great results you have achieved, and reinforce the relationships you have developed with the tendering organisation by evidencing these in your response.
# 3 Do be clever about constraints
If the tender request is restrictive, either through page limits or word counts, consider appending supplementary supporting material (if permissible) or using diagrams and imagery to cutdown on the amount of words.
Most tendering organisations will allow supporting material to be included, provided it is relevant, adds value, is clearly flagged as additional content and is not mixed in with your main response.
If you do include additional material, you will still need to provide a compliant answer in your main response document and then clearly refer the evaluators to the appropriate attachment.
#4 Don’t ask clarification questions if you’re not sure you’ll like the answer
Ambiguously worded questions in tenders are not uncommon and can work to your advantage. They allow you to interpret and respond to the question in a way that is compliant, but potentially favourable to you.
On occasion, you may genuinely need to seek clarification, for example to cover a situation unique to your firm. But before you ask questions, consider if the answer make a significant difference to the way you address the request.
Or can you work around the question in your responses in a way that keeps you compliant?
Learn more here: Should you ask clarification questions during a tender process?
We hope you find these tips useful as you get to writing your next tender, bid or proposal.
Tender readability remains a problem for some in the 21st century. I still see submission documents that cling to a handful of really old hat tender presentation and formatting techniques. I suspect this is because some of these ‘rules’ are viewed as being more appropriate to a ‘formal’ style of document such as a tender. […]