The words “tender” and “template” never belong in the same sentence. If your strategy for winning tenders so far has revolved around a one-size-fits-all approach to answering key questions, then it’s a strategy that’s doomed to fail. But you probably know that already.
Each time you decide to pitch for a tender you need to take a completely individual approach, tailoring your response to the exact requirements of the RFT, whilst putting together a cohesive and persuasive argument that your business is the right one for the job.
Here’s a list of common mistakes to avoid.
- Features without benefits – Stating what your business can offer, but failing to show just how your offer will benefit the client and answer their needs.
- Info dump – Using vague, generic content as filler, rather than tailoring targeted answers to critical questions.
- Copy and paste – Answering multiple questions with exactly the same content in different sections.
- Non-compliance – Failing to comply with the specific instructions and requirements of the RFT. Of particular relevance to government RFTs, this includes everything from answering a specific point, to the number of words permitted and the font to be used.
- No proof – Making claims or assertions without having the valid certifications, qualifications, and demonstrable experience as evidence.
- Poor profiles – Submitting CVs and staff profiles for key personnel which are inconsistent, badly put together and written in a variety of styles and formats.
Here’s a list of what to aim for.
- Focus on value – A strong emphasis on why your value proposition is unique; closely aligning your values to the stated values of the client.
- Evidence based reporting – Use hard facts, brief case studies and client testimonials to back up your claims.
- Be compliant – It’s not difficult! Produce a tender submission which exactly matches what you have been asked to do, right down to the final full stop.
- Set the tone – Create a document with impact by using a variety of ways to communicate, e.g. engaging language, use of clear charts and graphs to clearly illustrate your point.
- Look polished – Proofread everything. Twice. Employ an external proofreader to ensure your proposal is error-free and uses appropriate language.
Above all, pitch every submission with the client’s needs firmly at the forefront. Always use powerful “you will benefit from …” statements, rather than “we will ….” statements throughout. By doing so, you are demonstrating a complete understanding of your client – of their needs, the issues they face and what’s really important to their business.
Check out our short video on tender writing for more help Tips for winning a Proposal or Tender