If you’re thinking about outsourcing the writing of a new tender, you want to be confident that you’re choosing a tender writing company that’s the right fit for you.

But how can you be sure that they are going work well with your team? And deliver a professional process? And, most importantly, maximise your opportunity for a successful tender?

There are a few options to help give you peace of mind, including seeking references, but first up it’s helpful to ask your prospective tender writer these six important questions.

1. What’s your experience?

Naturally, you want to be sure that your tender writer has considerable experience of writing and managing tender responses.

An experienced tender writer will significantly increase the chances of success. But equally, appointing the wrong person can result in a poorly written, non-compliant tender submission.

Asking how long they’ve been writing tenders and their career background, what types of organisations they’ve worked with before, and who their clients were tendering to (e.g. government tenders or tenders to private and listed companies) will give you a good picture of their skills.

2. How do you approach the tender writing process?

Understanding how your prospective tender writer approaches writing a tender will give you  valuable insights into their working style and whether it aligns with your expectations. It’s important to know how they plan to gather information, collaborate with your team, and incorporate feedback throughout the process.

3. How do you ensure compliance with all tender requirements?

With 60% of tenders to government being assessed as non-compliant by the procurement team, compliance with the tender requirements is a non-negotiable. Ask the prospective writer how they ensure that every aspect of a tender is compliant with the request for proposal (RFP) or RFT (request for tender) specifications, including addressing all criteria and adhering to submission guidelines.

4. Can you describe a challenging tender you worked on and how you handled it?

Every single request for tender is different. The complexity of the documentation varies enormously. And too, some organisations are easier to work with than others. Asking a potential tender writer the typical challenges they’ve faced before can help you to understand how they will handle any challenges from within your organisation.

5. What is your strategy for differentiating our bid from competitors?

The most important elements of a successful tender are its value propositions. These help your organisation to stand out from the competition. Your prospective writer should be able to explain how they plan to highlight the unique value proposition of your business and make the bid more compelling.

6. What are your fees and payment terms?

Discussing fees, payment terms, and any additional costs upfront can prevent misunderstandings later. A good tender writer will forensically analyse the RFT or RFP and provide a fee estimate based on the complexity of the tender and time needed to write an excellent tender submission.

And what not to ask

These questions might seem obvious if you’ve never worked with a tender writer before. But in actual fact they’re not very relevant to assessing a tender writer’s abilities.

1. What is your tender success rate, and how do you measure it?

You might think that asking about the tender writer’s success rate provides a benchmark for evaluating their effectiveness. That’s assuming you define success as how many of their clients win their tenders.

A tender writer’s role is to ensure that your tender response positions you for a win. But it’s not something they can guarantee.

There are so many variables affecting the outcomes of a tender that a ‘success rate’ is not always relevant to the quality of the tender writer’s work.

The variables impacting the quality of your tender submissions are the strength of your value propositions, the quality of the information you provide to your tender writer, and your adherence to the writer’s project plan.

Even the world’s best tender writer can’t make a purse out of a pig’s ear, as they say. They can answer the tender questions clearly and ensure that that tender complies. They can write general value propositions based on the scantiest of information from you.

But if you don’t provide them with sufficient information on time, or work with them to develop really strong value propositions, you’re jeopardising the quality of your tender response, no matter how experienced your tender writer.

2. What is your understanding of our industry and business?

Many businesses naturally want to work with tender writers who understand their industry. And that’s important for some tenders, especially in complex or very technical industries.But, just as your skills lie in the delivery of your services, a good tender writer doesn’t need to be an expert in your business or your industry. They need to be an expert in drawing out relevant information from you and using it to write a clear, succinct tender that positions your business for success.

Experienced tender writers work across countless businesses and industries. It’s their ability to quickly understand your service that counts, and to ask you the right questions about what you do.

How to find the right tender writer

Make it easy on yourself by getting tender writing support from Tender Writers. Our team of expert tender writers are skilled at writing tender submissions for service and professional services businesses across Australia.

Call us today on 02 8036 5532 or 0448 566 377 or head to our contact page.