Staying on topic

A couple of the major tenets in tender responses are to:

  1. Answer every tender question
  2. Answer every tender question fully.

This can often result in your subject matter experts thinking that more is better in terms of both the number of words and the breadth of their responses.

While both tenets are correctly focussed on ensuring a compliant response, providing too much can be distracting to your client resulting in a negative score of your response.

Tender writing is a specific skill focussed on making your response stand-out in positive ways as well as being compliant to the tender requirements. Failure to be compliant can quickly knock you out of the running and according to some government statistics, it happens far too often.

Tenders are a little like submitting your homework – they get scored and compared to other similar submissions. To win, you must respond to every question and in ways that are better than the others. Tricky.

Answering each question fully can be more difficult than it seems. Tender questions are usually written by someone with a good understanding of the client’s requirements but not always, so it is imperative that you really know what your client requires. ‘Fully’ means no more than is asked for except that it may include what you know they really meant to ask. Subtle.

Having a highly motivated response team that loves their specialist subjects is great but sometimes their passion gets them carried away and they write about fascinating esoteric technical features and other things that are not relevant to the client’s question nor offer any clear benefits. No matter how interesting these may be to the author, they can cause angst in the client’s reader as it’s time they don’t have and information which they are unable to score. Worse, it can distract and bore them so much that they miss the more relevant sections of your response causing your response to be marked down.

Waffle fills pages but wastes everyone’s time and obscures the tangible benefits of your offering. So write less but say more of value to your client.

Specialist response writers know the difference and can work with your subject matter experts to tailor focussed and compelling responses that meet all client expectations.

If you wish to know more – contact Mijo Tenders for some friendly advice.