Before you submit that tender

This is the second in our ‘Before you…’ series and follows on from the ‘Before you make that call‘ article.

Over the years I’ve been involved in both sides of the tender process, submitting & reviewing. What has always amazed me when in the reviewing mode is that on average there will always be at least one submission that is standard with nothing specific in relation to the opportunity in question, as if they’ve just changed the name and submitted. And they think we won’t notice..

These points may seem obvious to experienced business development teams but there are still some that tend to overlook them :

 Do your research – Is the opportunity in your sweet spot or should you be qualifying it out? Take a step back and ask yourself what a typical client looks like? As an industry we are getting better at this but we do still get occasions when someone will submit a document when they have no similar types of client and therefore have little chance of winning. Remember what it costs to submit a proposal.

Always ask questions/meet the prospect if given the opportunity. There are still some that decline the invite.. Remember that in these discussions the prospect should do most of the talking.

If you’ve asked the right questions you can include this information in your response including examples/case studies demonstrating how you have solved these issues for other clients. You need to make sure they remember your proposal so try to include something different.

Keep it simple and follow the less is more philosophy, quality not quantity. Why do some organisations still feel they need to fell us that they established the business in 1928, have 250 clients and 15 partners. We can get this info from the web. It doesn’t excite us. An exec summary is a must – we may have six documents to review and may not have time to read a lengthy document straight away. Tell us in the key points in the summary.

Review before submitting and check it thoroughly. In the last two years I received a document that contained spelling mistakes. Even consider getting an independent review. Obviously I would say that as Alius can assist with this but it is something to consider, especially if it is a major opportunity.

From experience always try and include something different in your response. This will strike a cord and will set you apart from the competition.

For more information on making that perfect phone call please contact Darren Jefferson on or call 020 3637 6325.