Many of these tips seem simple on the face of it, but following them can really make a difference to your tender response. When the buyer scores your submission, you should be aiming for top marks, not average marks. These all important scores and the way in which they are weighted make the difference between a fair response and a winning tender.
How to write a tender that wins:
1. When the documentation is released, read it with a highlighter
- Highlight key areas whether in soft or hard copy
- This will help you identify points of importance that will inform the drafting of your responses
- Also, make sure you read it when it is released – DO NOT put it in your “in tray” for a week or two….
2. If you have questions on the content of the tender document, raise them with the buyer.
- It is better that you understand what they are saying and asking, rather than misinterpret their meaning
- Are there any silly questions? No! If you have read the documentation thoroughly and your query remains, then it is a valid clarification to raise
- During my time as a buyer many people did not raise clarifications, which resulted in their misunderstanding our questions and so not answering them correctly
- Be mindful of the tone of the clarification, if information is missing or unclear in their document, raising an aggressive clarification does not create a good impression
3. Put a timetable together for completing your tender response
- This enables you to work back from the deadline and allow sufficient time for proof reading before submitting
- It will also help you to organise any other supporting information or details you need to write your tender
4. Consider colleagues and team members who may be able to contribute to the responses with you
- Do you have customer facing members of staff who can provide useful examples and evidence?
5. Think about how you will make your response reader friendly?
- Carefully consider how you are going to present the document
- Are there page or word limits? Or restrictions on the fonts to be used?
- Can you use images or screenshots?
6. Provide good, relevant evidence and proof from your experience in delivering your product or service in each of your responses
- Telling them that this is what you do is not enough. Provide facts, figures, and relevant details about your experiences with other customers
- A cut and paste from your brochure or website is not enough to gain good marks
- See the examples from our website Review & Analysis page
7. Always ensure that you are answering the question that they have asked
- Use the information that the buyer provides in their introduction and specification to inform your response
- Take into account their use of language
- Also, pay regards to their aims and objectives in this tender process
8. Ask yourself (and your team), how (through this process) you are going to make it easy for the buyer to award the contract to your business?
- By using these top tips and providing a relevant and comprehensive response that makes them want to award top marks to your business
9. Get a fresh pair of eyes to proof read your responses
- Checking for good use of language and punctuation, readability, layout
- How do the response documents present?
- Does it flow well?
- Does it keep the reader interested?
- This is a service that we provide! See our Review & Analysis page
10. Prepare the submission of your response
- Ensure all attachments and supporting information is included
- For online submissions, have backup copies saved to a separate device
- If your IT lets you down, the deadline won’t be extended
- ALWAYS plan to submit a day or two IN ADVANCE of the deadline