Does your company regularly submit building construction and concrete formwork tenders? Tenders take substantial staff power to get right – they can attract new business, you're probably feeling frustrated – and if you’re not getting results, you’re wasting your time.
Craft a winning bid that gets noticed for all the right reasons – here are seven tips to get you started:
- Take time out to network. Many companies chose a vendee with whom they have an existing relationship. There's no substitute for meeting people face to face when it comes to winning work. Look at industry events, organisations and memberships, LinkedIn or ask your network to refer you to potential leads.
- Read the tender instructions carefully – and follow them! Tenders are highly formal documents designed to separate the wheat from the chaff. Your submission will immediately hit the reject pile if you fail to follow the instructions to the letter.
- Consider each question carefully. Each section of your tender has been designed to make it easier to find the perfect company for the role. Address the selection criteria without fail and try to read between the lines – what does the client really want?
- Do your research. Take some time to discover everything you can about the prospective client’s business. Who is their target market? What are their values and goals? Is their business in a growth period? Start your search online and tap your network for useful insights.
- Write succinctly, clearly and directly. Every answer should be clear and to the point. Use visuals to simplify complicated ideas and concepts. Keep to requested word limits – when a reviewer has to wade through thousands of convoluted submissions that don’t reflect their exact needs, yours will stand out as a breath of fresh air.
- Be accurate. Sign everything you’re supposed to and don’t forget to do a final spell check. If it should come down to a competition between you and another company, the more professional submission will always win out. If in doubt, call in a professional tender writer or editor to tidy up your prose.
- Submit early. Never leave your tender process until the last moment – it’s a surefire way to make mistakes. Plan your available time meticulously, giving yourself leeway for unforeseen hiccups – you don't want to be frantically typing up the last response just before the deadline, or worrying about whether the courier has enough time to deliver your tender to its destination. Make a cool, calm and collected impression on the client by submitting ahead of the competition – even if you’re only passing over a file to a receptionist, word about your professional approach will spread to the decision makers.
- Build a tender file. One way to get ahead in the tender submission game is to have a company profile, capability statement, unique selling point statement, value proposition and other general company documents drawn up in advance by a copywriter and graphic designer. Keep them on file for when you need them – while every tender is different, they’ll likely have elements in common within the same industry.