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Tendering Top Tips

Tendering Top Tips

Pricing Structure

Beware of providing too much detail in the commercial section of your proposal.

If you give a breakdown of the price, the buyer may try to haggle over hourly rates or deselect key parts of your service.

To avoid allowing them to negotiate on individual items, simply offer an overall price for the whole project.

Opening Sentence

The first sentence in each section of your bid should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read on.

To do this, work out “what” it is they want and “why” they want it.

This will show that you have been listening to their requirements and are not just trying to promote yourself to them.

Market Intelligence

It can be worthwhile monitoring public sector portals, even if you do not want to bid for the jobs.

You will find out which companies have been awarded contracts, allowing approaches to be made for partnership working.

It is also possible to gather market intelligence such as details about which technology areas are receiving funding.

Embedded Videos

There is no definitive answer to whether it is advisable to embed video clips in your tender or bid.

You should seek guidance from the individual buyer because there are differing views, even within the same industry sector.

If you do add clips ensure they are directly relevant to the response, as generic marketing material will never be seen in a positive light.

Between the Lines

Most invitation to tender documents describe the work scope but few comprehensively capture the client’s objectives.

It is very useful to find out why they are tendering the work and how the contract impacts on other parts of their business.

Once you know this, you can offer a solution that provides added value and has a targeted win theme.


It is worthwhile remembering that Latin is not widely used in many workplaces.

When writing tenders and bids, make the text easier to read and avoid potential misunderstanding by avoiding Latin words and abbreviations.

There are English alternatives to all the commonly used ones such as “per diem”, “quid pro quo”, “i.e.” and “e.g.”

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a key part of any bid, proposal or tender document.

Try to write text which conveys your key messages with an upbeat tone rather than merely summarising the contract.

Having read the executive summary, the evaluator should know why you are the best company for the job.

Price Negotiation

If you have well written quality and technical sections in your tender, you will hold a stronger position if the client wants to negotiate on price.

The narrative sections of a bid describe the value of your offering.

If the client wants you to reduce your price, you can respond by asking which added-value aspects they want you to omit.

Bid Review

A review often identifies sections which are unclear or have been missed so it is therefore a vitally important stage in the bid process.

Despite this, many companies allow the review period to be compressed or even omitted due to pressure of time.

Ensure reviews are correctly prioritised and adequate resources are allocated to them.

Video Clips

Some clients are now happy to receive video files within bid and tender submissions.

However as the majority of tenders are still evaluated in hard copy, you need to ensure that they will be accepted before sending them.

If you do include videos, make sure the contents are relevant and tailored to the contract.

CVs and GDPR

It is a common myth that companies can no longer provide CVs in tenders due to data protection regulations (GDPR).

This arose from inaccurate interpretation of the requirements, combined with unwieldy company processes.

CVs can give you competitive advantage so challenge internal rulings and ensure they can continue to be used.

Refer to Spec

It is usual for a client’s tender to include a specification for the services they require.

When writing your response, it is important that you refer to this specification, or elements of it.

This shows that you are tailoring your solution to their requirements and not simply giving them an ‘off-the-shelf’ service.

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