Top 4 tender fails

Writing winning tenders is more than an administrative task, says BidWrite Director David Lunn.

The company has written more than 2000 tenders in its 11 years, has offices in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane and is one of the largest tender and proposal consultancies in the country.

Customers range from government, to small businesses and multinationals across diverse industries.

Lunn will conduct a half-day workshop on how to write a winning tender on June 14.

Lunn’s top four tendering pitfalls:

1 Poor Positioning – Not understanding the client, the opportunity and the market before your prospect issues a request for tender is a major downfall.

Improving your relationship with, and knowledge of, the client and assessing and closing strategic gaps before request for tender is issued makes you much more likely to address client needs in your tender or proposal.

Well positioned businesses have a formal bid or no-bid process and increase success rates by only focusing on, and investing in, deals that they are more likely to win.

2 Non-Compliance – Not ticking all the boxes and providing all the requested tender information on time is a deal-breaker and will usually cause you to lose the tender on a technicality.

Some Australian studies suggest 60 per cent of small businesses fail to comply with tendering rules.

3 Neglected Persuasion – By thinking that tendering is all about showing how good you are rather that making your bid client-focused. Tenders with lots of jargon and unsubstantiated claims are less effective than a compelling story as to why you should be selected over your competitors.

Bids are evaluated and awarded by people with views and emotions, no matter how objective the stated evaluation process may appear to be. Writing persuasively helps tap into these views and emotions and will generally result in more favourable evaluation scores.

If you can show you deeply understand what your prospect wants to achieve then you will be persuasive because you create an immediate connection that will engender trust and believability.

Make your bid persuasive with differentiators and comparisons relevant to the benefits that matter to your client.

4 It’s more than price – Being price competitive is a must. You must be in the price ‘ballpark’ to make sure your offer is considered value for money, but you must also give your client piece of mind that you can do the job.

Many buyers of non-commoditised goods and services are looking for best value or return on investment over the effective life of a product or service.

So by paying attention to your pricing, and giving your client confidence that the job will be done effectively with minimal risk will maximise your chances of success.

► Find out the do’s and don’ts of writing winning tenders from an expert at WA Works: How to Write a Winning Tender workshop being held Thursday 14 June. Register now!