Most businesses that contact me to discuss bids and tenders have tried to secure a contract, but failed. Often, they’ve done so more than once. I can’t wave a magic wand and guarantee that by working with me, they’ll win the next bid they go for, but I can work with them to maximise their chances.
On so many occasions, the things that are preventing them from winning that contract are relatively minor. Most frequently, it’s a failure to read the tender specification, or not comply with the response instructions, that can be the difference between pass and fail. Often, it can be down to price. I’ve lost count of the times that someone has said to me, “Well, we could have delivered it for the same price that the winning bidder quoted.” My general response to that is, “So why didn’t you quote your best price then?” There are rarely any second chances in bids and tenders. So, it is important to get it right first time.
When that tender opportunity lands on your desk, the first thing to do is to get yourself a cup of tea or coffee (I don’t recommend alcohol at this stage – you need a clear head!) and make time to read ALL the documents. Even if they look boring and you think you’ll know what the content says. Read them. Then read them again. Is there someone else you can ask to read the documents as well? If there is, that’s even better, they will pick up on different things to you.
Having read the bid documents, then you can start to think about whether this is the right tender for your business, whether you have time to respond properly to the documents and how you might respond. Think about whether you can offer the product or service cost effectively – what is your baseline price? Is that really the lowest price you can bid? Have you checked that you’re not offering a Bentley service, when they are requesting a Skoda service (no offence to Skoda drivers, I’ve had one, they are excellent cars!)
Think about your narrative responses. Have you really answered the question that has been asked? Have you demonstrated added value or innovation? What did the scoring criteria say? How do you think you measure up against that criteria?
If you’re not sure, or you want a second opinion, get in touch & we will be happy to talk to you about your bid and tender responses.