Make A Tender Response "A Winner"
I don’t know many people who enjoy writing tender responses, and feel that they “nail” them every time. But, in working hands-on with Professional Services businesses day in and day out, I am often asked what makes a tender response a winner. Lets take a quick look…
1. A GREAT CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP
There is nothing more desirable in a tender process than a great customer relationship! Whilst this has very little to do with your tender response itself it is important to recognize that the relationship with the customer is the single most influential factor in any tender decision making process. If you don’t have a relationship, most of the time, someone else tendering will, especially in local communities like Brisbane, Australia. You can even win a tender without a compliant submission if your relationship with the decision makers is good enough. A customer that trusts you to deliver a great service doesn’t need to competitively tender your services and if they do, you can occasionally go in knowing you are in the box seat!
2. UNDERSTAND THE REQUIREMENTS EARLY
Whilst it might seem easy to ignore that tender in your in-tray until the last few days, it really is worth glancing at it well in advance of its deadline to understand a) what is required, and b) if there is any compliance issues that you will need to address, or partner with another firm to achieve. Leaving it until the last minute and throwing in a non-compliant tender response is almost always a waste of your time and effort and will annoy the decision maker and demonstrate your laziness too.
3. BE CONCISE AND WELL STRUCTURED IN YOUR APPROACH
I prefer to start all of my larger tender responses that require input from others with a document and resource plan. This plan schedules the inputs from each of the other stakeholders on my tender team, and ensures that everyone manages their time and meets the team’s expectations and deadlines. This plan lays out the table of contents for the document, and allows us to write only the content that is needed to build a concise response. It sets the admin team in action, and builds a baseline document for everyone to work with. It only takes 20 minutes to do it, and it saves hours!Continued on the next page