How to target your tender to hit the bullseye

It’s not what you’ve got, but what you can do with it that matters. 

Imagine your engineering company is pitching for a large bore-drilling contract. The RFT says that the prospect wants an air-head and push-tube hammer capable of 250mm+ HQ/8-inch DTH, right? Wrong. They want a bore hole that’s the right size. It’s an important distinction to understand. Here’s why. 

How does the prospect benefit? 

All your prospect really wants to know is that they’ll end up with what they want. Yes, of course your equipment is important, but to stand any real chance of being considered, the thrust of your submission must be about answering the prospect’s needs, not providing a veritable brag-list of how much you’ve invested in large-scale drills. It’s not what you’ve got, but what you can do with it that matters. 

When you’re highlighting your skills, knowledge or experience always tie examples of your expertise to how they can benefit the prospect by answering one of their needs. Every time you prepare a response, double check to see that it can answer the unwritten question: “What’s in it for them?” 

Proof positive 

It’s easy to make assertions such as “we’re the leading this or that”, but can you prove it? Back up your claims with accredited quotes from happy clients, important award wins, recent good media coverage, industry recognition and more. Doing so gives your submission considerably more veritas and negates any risk of your outfit looking like a classic case of all hat and no cattle. 

How have you helped others? 

Brief case studies of how you’ve assisted other customers needing similar types of precision drilling are enormously helpful because they allow the prospect to envisage how you can help them, too. No need to write an essay; just a simple description of the problem, your solution, and the many ways in which it answers your customers’ needs is all that’s required. 

Look good, read easy 

Particularly important is to ensure your tender response is well laid out and easy to read. Use headings, sub headings, clearly labelled graphics and diagrams, and don’t be afraid of white space. 

If your content is technical in nature, don’t feel compelled to blind anyone with science. Remember, many of the folk on the assessment panel won’t be subject matter experts, so a clear, easy to understand overview is what’s required. Time enough for in-depth technical details once you win the contract. 

No room for error 

Your potential new customer is keen to know that you can undertake the contract without a hitch, so begin by making a favourable impression with an error-free submission.  

Draft and re-draft it until it says exactly what it needs to say and the benefits to the prospect of using your services are Waterford Crystal-clear. Triple check that you’ve answered all the questions in the right order and that every single requirement for attachments and lodgements has been met. Finally, send the whole thing off for a professional proofread to pick up on all the typos, grammar and formatting errors that you missed.  

If you would like help writing, editing or proofreading your tenders, proposals or business documents, head to the contact  page or call Rosemary Gillespie direct on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216.

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