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Make your tender responses stand out from the crowd

Posted on: July 13th, 2018 by Sylvia Oates

Our tendering expert, Dewi Hughes, explains how to make sure your tender response makes it to the top of the pile.

You’ve identified an opportunity to bid for some work that would suit the skills, knowledge and experience of your business. It’s practically in the bag then, right?

Well, not always. We have had many years of experience in both writing and assessing bids, and there are a number of things we have learnt from both processes.

We are not saying that they will guarantee success, but they may just help you write a tender that is easier to read, that better highlights the reasons why you are right for the job and ultimately makes it easy for the buyer to choose you.

This week, we are focussing on tips relating to the writing and presentation of your bid.

1.     Write simply

You may assume that evaluators read everything that you submit within the bid document. Well, sadly, this may not be the case. In our experience, this would be very unusual, as they are often under time pressures themselves to complete the evaluation process.

Most people take around two to three minutes to read 500 words, which is around one side of A4. Evaluators typically have around one minute to read this much text, so they are invariably forced to skim read the material.

We therefore recommend that when you are completing a bid, you keep your answers concise, relevant and interesting.

2.     Show the reader the way

For the same reasons as above, and to help the evaluator to connect with your bid, you must make the document easy to navigate.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to use clear headings and subheadings that relate to the questions in the tender. Headings are like signposts that give clarity to the evaluator – so they know that you are giving them exactly what they asked for.

The headings should also follow the order in which things were asked for – so the evaluator doesn’t waste time looking for an answer.

3.     Make your bid attractive to read

There is nothing more intimidating than a page full of solid writing. Many tenders will include word or character counts for each question, but that doesn’t stop you using formatting to help present an attractive document that doesn’t look daunting to the evaluator.

Bullets and numbering are a great way to highlight important information. Keep them short and to the point, and they will also create some great white space on your document, breaking the information up.

When complete, don’t forget to check the spelling and grammar, too. If your writing is full of errors, the evaluator may wonder what mistakes you will make with their project, too.

If you would like some help responding to a tender, or some training to help you to write better bid responses, we would love to hear from you. Just call us on 0115 926 6477 or complete our online contact form.

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