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How to write tenders and proposals that beat the competition (without cutting prices)

I spend much of my time training and advising businesses on how to win tenders. Not surprisingly, many of the people I work with tell me that they find writing bids and proposals a time consuming and frustrating task. However, they all recognise that tenders are the lifeblood of their companies and that winning bids is, in many ways, the most important single thing that they do.

The sobering truth is that, every year, many businesses get into serious difficulty because they do not secure a key contract, or do not win a re-tender with a significant client who they have worked with for years. Often the problem is one of complacency, and many people tell me that ‘if only’ they’d given a tender the proper priority and approached it in the right way, then they would have won.

Although writing winning tenders isn’t rocket science, there are lots of things to keep in mind when you approach the challenge. Here are ten to start you thinking:

  1. Highlight your Win Theme: The win theme is the single most important element of your bid, proposal or tender. It’s the reason the client should work with you. It should be highlighted in your tender at every opportunity.
  2. Offer Best Value: One of the key things that clients are looking for through the tender process is ‘best value’. Use the tender process to show how you use your expertise to offer innovative solutions that save money and do things better and faster.
  3. Sell yourself: Treat every question as an opportunity to sell yourself. Don’t assume that the client will know something (even if you’ve been working with them for years). Use statistics, case studies and testimonials to ‘prove’ what your saying.
  4.  Show that you know the business: Show that you understand your client’s business and the constraints they work under.
  5. Update policies and procedures: To streamline the tender process ensure that your policies and procedures are relevant, up-to-date, and that they represent best practice.
  6. Put together the best Tender Team: It is important to involve the staff who actually ‘do the job’ as they can contribute the ‘nuggets’ that can turn an average proposal into a winning one.
  7. Ask yourself ‘so what?’: Make sure that you highlight the relevance of the points you’re making. Let the client know what benefits you’ll bring them.
  8. Get the language right: Ensure your tender documents are well written, clear and concise. Make it someone’s job to proof read the final version – for both content and language.
  9. Use great graphics: Make sure your graphics are visually appealing and easy to understand. If they look amateurish then revise or remove them.
  10. Re-tendering: Throughout the delivery of your existing contract, ‘sell’ the renewal and try to lock-out the competition.

Our intensive support provides all the tools and techniques needed to produce high-impact tender and bid documents. You’ll find out how to increase your win rate, sell at higher prices and streamline your bid production process, saving you and your team lots of time and stress.

Find out more about our training courses.  Find out about our live bid support services.   Contact us to talk.