Tender Writing – Tricks of the Trade

Tender Writing – Tricks of the Trade

Tenders. You’ll either love them or hate them. If you’re in the ‘hate them’ camp, then luckily for you there are actually people out there who love them! So, this means you can have your cake, and eat it too! For some even better news, some of those elusive few tender lovers work at Elevate.

We have strategists, strong writers, and researching and formatting gurus with an acute eye to bring a tender to life. So, we surveyed the team and came up with our top 10 Tender Tricks of the Trade. These pointers are designed to help you better plan for, write and submit a tender so that you can have the best chances of winning that lucrative or enviable account.

  1. Print - most tenders are big. There could be 5-10 documents to read through, and each document could be 10-20 pages long. While we don’t condone printing unnecessarily, when it comes to tenders, you need to be able to cross check documents so that you don’t miss any important criteria or intentions. Tabs on screens just doesn’t have the same effect and this stage is what sets you up for success.

  2. Highlight - now that you have all your documents printed, it’s time to get reading and highlighting. Look for language and phrases to include in your responses as well as criteria.

  3. Addendums - Ask questions to the nominated contact person, and read addendums that are posted. Usually you have a time frame to seek clarifications, and those responses are posted publicly so there’s no disadvantage. So read what others have asked and make sure you’re thinking is still on the right track

  4. Feasible - Work out if it’s viable to go for. Tenders can easily take 30-60 hours to compile. Is the tender worth at least that much to you in return? Obviously, it’s not always just about the financial value as adding to your portfolio can do wonders for a brand, but just make sure you budget the resources needed to submit the tender, and decide that you tick enough boxes to be worth it.

  5. Pick the low hanging fruit - everyone will work differently, but our advice to get you on a roll is to work on the areas you know well - for example your company bio, team, credentials and experiences - as these can not only get the creative juices flowing, you can hit some quick milestones helping you to progress through the document steadily.

  6. Visualise your responses - tenders often require tailored solutions to the organisation’s problem. Mapping out what that solution looks like, rather than just jumping straight into writing, will help you forecast any hurdles and raise questions that might need to be answered. It gives you the chance to sense check and make sure you’re on the right track.

  7. Content dump - we usually take all our ideas and get them into the document in no real order. Then we’ll develop the sections further and play around with where it sits in the document, each hour getting us closer to the final result.

  8. Teamwork - because of the sheer size of tenders, it can get overwhelming for one person to manage the entire submission. It’s easy to make typos and overlook critical content components. Getting a second and even third set of eyes is important.

  9. Appendixes - tenders aren’t just judged on ideas. You need to dot every I and cross every t to be considered a contender. Make sure your appendices are all in order and referenced in the document - this can be challenging as you work through the document and add new appendices in no particular order.

  10. Celebrate! Don’t wait until you find out you’re shortlisted to celebrate. Tenders are laborious and certainly not easy (that’s why so many people hate them!). Celebrate hitting the submit button. Even if you don’t win it, you now have so much more content to draw on for future tenders. The more you write, the better you get.

If, after all this, you still hate tenders; you know where to find the people who will put their heart and soul into developing your attention-grabbing response! Send the tender details across to our team and we will arrange to meet with you and prepare a quote.

Tags: #Tenders #Pitching

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