10 tips for writing killer tenders

If you’ve agonised over which tenders to respond to, or how to respond effectively, this guide will show you how to identify genuine tender opportunities, write business winning tender responses and give you 10 tips for writing killer tenders

[redbox]With the endless rise of the procurement department and the increased retention of ‘supply chain consultants’ winning new business tenders has become a critical fact of life for most forwarders.[/redbox]

But how do you identify the genuine opportunities and how do you craft winning submissions.

[yellowbox]With ever tighter shipping budgets, and the fierce competition among service providers, tenders are a fact of business life that you cannot afford to ignore.[/yellowbox]

Winning new business tenders is time-consuming and can soak up critical resource, which is why so many forwarders are wary about responding to tenders, particularly unsolicited ones and are mistakingly declining tenders that could be very lucrative.

For many client procurement teams an effective RFP process is essential for finding suppliers that will best serve their business goals.

Going through the response process might be tedious and resource heavy, but you can use it to convince the buyers that you will give the best value for meeting their needs and are the most appropriate selection.

Some RFPs might be upward of 50 questions “And who has time to answer them?”

Those who understand that winning new business tenders is a critical success factor, that’s who.

Painful as the tender response process may seem sometimes, the reality is that RFPs are an essential component in new business acquisition.

[greenbox]Here are some best-practices to ensure your company gets the most out of the RFP and tender process.[/greenbox]

Tips for spotting the genuine tenders

It’s just as important for the issuer to spend time writing the tender as it is for you to spend time on the response, so you should expect a well constructed document that has been carefully considered.

Hiring the wrong supplier will cost them, while finding the right supplier will help their business grow, so the buyers questions should be framed to uncover your strengths.

They should provide you with the context for the tender and ideally start the document with an executive summary of their business goals.

Questions should be thoughtful to prompt thoughtful responses from respondents, that will demonstrate how their capabilities will provide solutions to the issuers current business situation.

Be very wary if it looks like the issuer has taken a copy of an RFP from another procurement effort and simply replaced some elements.

Effective tenders are customised to match the specific business need and will permit respondents to attach expanded answers or supporting materials.

Winning new business tenders

While you are spending precious time responding to a tender, so too is the competition, so here’s how to get yours to the top of the pile and get onto the pitch buy doxycycline uk online list to secure the business.

Avoid stupid errors and get your response shaping in your head by reading the document once, reading it twice, and then re-reading it again.

Use a highlight marker to underline key areas and important points and ensure these are incorporated in your responses.

It is imperative to closely read the guidelines and documents to ensure that you answer questions directly, while demonstrating how your experience reflects their needs.

There is nothing wrong with asking questions and clarifying points.

If the process allows, include a thoughtful, well written executive summary that summarises how your business offers the best solution and provide evidence to support claims.

Don’t limit yourself to the word count if you don’t have to. Ask the issuer whether they will accept attachments to give you even more opportunities to explain how you can best serve their needs.

Make your case as best you can, but keep your responses as concise and clear as possible.

Think about the number of tender responses the potential client may be reading and provide as strong a response in the least number of pages.

Never ever use a generic response format with stock answers. You need a tailored approach with direct responses to the questions and issues if you want to stand out.

If you can’t tailor your response, don’t waste time on that tender.

Proofread your document rigorously. You are under the microscope here and a single mistake will cost you dearly.

Submit your response on time and in the requested format. However, it’s not unreasonable to ask for a deadline extension if you don’t believe the issuer provided enough time for you to compile a thoughtful response.

To close here’s our…………

10 Tips for writing killer tenders

  1. Make sure you can deliver the solutions and it’s a tender you want to respond to
  2. Can you meet ALL the specified criteria. A fail at a this point could waste an awful lot of effort
  3. Assume that the person reading your response knows nothing about your company – EVEN if you are already working with them
  4. Answer all the questions as fully as possible (explain any omissions)
  5. Follow the submission instructions carefully and meet every requirement
  6. Clearly demonstrate what you do well, why you are different and why you are the right choice
  7. Unless you get permission stay within the word counts and other response directions, or you may be disqualified
  8. Provide credible evidence with results, financials, statistics, testimonials, awards, accreditations and references
  9. Use illustrations, graphics and photographs to illustrate points and capabilities
  10. Get several colleagues to read, critique and proofread your response and submit BEFORE the deadline

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