You know you have a great product or service. You know the people you want to work with. So why, oh why, is no one paying attention? You submit the tenders, you price competitively – and yet no wins. Let’s face it, tendering is a huge expense for a business. Not to mention the toll the stress takes on your staff – or the demoralisation of a low strike rate constantly being referenced.
So, how do you win those big tenders?
Focus on the capability statements
Dry I know – but really look at what the client is asking for. Answer their specific questions and structure your response to convince them that you are THE firm to solve their problems.
Evidence your success
Clearly show that you are a stable firm that has a strong history of success. No one wants to be the guinea pig. Show them that you have a body of evidence behind you that your methodology works. Client testimonials are great – but the overall purpose is to build trust. Clearly evidence your stability and trustworthiness.
Keep it short and sweet
There are no points for extra words or flowery language. And the people evaluating tenders want to find someone who is going to deliver what they want, not do an interpretive dance about it. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. Trust me – the person reading your tender will appreciate it!
I cannot stress this point enough. Proofread and then proofread again. You want to look polished and like you have attention to detail. Nothing will destroy the illusion of polish quicker than an ill-timed typo. Get multiple people to proof the submission if you can.
Communicate who you are and what you do – honestly. No one wants to buy something that doesn’t do what it says on the box. Clearly communicate how you can help in a way that is true to what you can actually deliver. There’s no point winning a tender you can’t deliver.
Price competitively – not for free
Price in a way that provides value for money, but please, please don’t price below cost to secure work. It is incredibly hard to raise your fee at a later stage, and it skews the client’s view of the market. Most government clients are also prohibited from accepting quotes they know to be below cost – so you could be doing yourself out of a contract!