The deadline’s looming, you’ve burned the midnight oil, answered all the questions and your tender is almost ready to be submitted.
There’s just that tiny voice in the back of your mind that says ‘Is it really as good as it can be? Can we really win this bid?’
Before you upload all your hard work, press ‘submit’ and retire to the pub for a well-earned drink, here are 5 ways you could improve your tender response:
1. Read the Invitation to Tender documents, one more time.
Have you covered everything in your tender response? Are you sure? Check that everything you’re submitting follows the instructions, including any file-naming protocols, word limits and instructions for supporting information.
2. Add value to your answers
While you’re re-reading the Invitation to Tender documents, look for anything in the specification or supporting documents that could be identified as either a requirement or a preference that you haven’t already covered. Don’t restrict yourself just to the specification – as well as individual product and service requirements, look at the organisation’s own aims and values and add value to your answers by addressing these points as well.
3. Make it easier for the assessors
Especially where your answers may be lengthy, break your content down into subjects that clearly explain your processes. For example, if the question asks ‘how will you ensure the quality of your services’, you can break this down into: the formal quality processes you follow; who is responsible for those processes; how you monitor and measure quality and; how any quality issues are addressed. This will help assessors understand every aspect of your process and make it easier for them to assign realistic scores to your response.
4. Include more evidence
While you may only be specifically asked for evidence in one or two areas of a bid, providing more proof of your experience and expertise in other areas can lead to better scores. For example, where you describe a process (such as the quality example above) include, where you can, any statistics, testimonials or mini case studies that prove your process is effective.
5. Keep it simple; write in plain English; remove business buzzwords and jargon
Are you using three or four words where one will do? Take out any ‘as a company we’ and ‘in order to’ and replace them with ‘we’ and ‘to’.
Ditch the dictionary: assessors don’t need to be impressed by your mastery of the English language, or knowledge of the latest business buzz words – they just need to know what you do and how you do it. Take out any excessive or flowery words and replace them with plain English.
Are you certain the assessors will know what all your TLAs refer to? By all means, use acronyms to save space and make your word counts count – but don’t forget to explain them at least once in every answer they’re used in.
Want to learn more?
These five tips should help you quiet that little voice before you submit your tender.