Techniques to Win Your Next Tender

Edwin Warui

6 Simple Techniques to Win Your Next Tender (Hint: It’s not Costs)

We’ve all been there.


You have met the minimum criteria for the bid. You have fulfilled the financial and economic criterion. You have sufficient experience. You have the correct levels of insurance in place.


The challenge:


You want to ensure that your proposal stands out from the crowd and that your business is showcased in the best possible light.


So how can you increase your chances of winning a tender?


Let’s jump right in.


#1. Let Your Text Breathe

​It’s possible to have the highest-quality content and still have a hard time keeping the evaluator engaged. For instance, blocks of text are intimidating to the reader. Instead, use short paragraphs.


Similarly, where applicable, you can introduce bullets and headlines to make arguments easier to follow. The aim is to ensure consistent formatting because mismatched paragraphs and bullet points are off-putting to the reader.


#2. Structuring Your Response


​It’s a grave mistake to fail to proof-read the content in your tender. Spelling, grammar and punctuation errors make you seem unprofessional or worse, incompetent. The solution?


Editing your tender before submission. One handy technique is to read out loud and identify sections that need revisions. 


Alternatively, you can use grammar-check tools such as Grammarly or Hemingway app. And if you don’t feel confident in your ability to proofread, you can always hire an editor.


Lastly, single sentence responses won’t cut it. Word limits in the tender documents are an indication of how much depth you’re expected to go into. Where permissible, always expand your answers and provide as much details as possible.



#3. Writing Style


How you write the tender is critical. Aim to present your company as professional as possible by steering clear of colloquial style of writing. The goal is to ensure that the content flows and is easily understood by the reader.


First, avoid excessive use of industry-specific lingo. The catch is, the person evaluating your bid might be a procurement manager and not an expert in your field. As a result, unneeded jargon can lead to misinterpretations and consequently an awarding of lower scores.


Second, focus on writing persuasively. The objective is to frame the key benefits of your proposal in terms of advantages to the client. You see, the evaluator needs valid reasons to award you the tender in addition to meeting the select criteria. Make it easy for them by creating compelling content.


All said, the goal is to clearly communicate the benefits your organisation brings to the contract. Flowery words won’t impress. They will just make your documents harder to read and evaluate. Instead, use simple terms to explain your company’s ability and experience.


#4. Compiling Documents


Sometimes a tender specifies how paperwork should be compiled. First, ensure you have correctly included all the appropriate information such as accreditations, policies and procedures. Next, check that your documents are numbered accurately and can be accessed without difficulty.


By making the evaluator’s job easier, you’re able to avoid any subsequent issues or disagreements.


#5. Use Illustrations


Yes, the maxim, a picture is worth a thousand words applies to tendering too.


To get started, you need to confirm that illustrations can be used in the tender proposal. And if there’s uncertainty, it’s better to seek clarification.


You can add visuals such as graphs, diagrams or charts. Here’s why:

  • Helps your proposal stand out

  • Breaks up blocks of text.

  • Helps explain complex ideas.

  • Helps to visually communicate key points.

  • Shows an understanding of the client’s need

  • Helps demonstrate processes effectively such as steps, stages or phases.

Note: A well-placed image is self-explanatory. If too much information is needed to support the graphic, then it has not served its purpose.



#6. Aesthetics

Normally, brands worldwide use colours to evoke specific emotional responses in their audiences. You can also do the same with your tender proposal. You can subconsciously influence the evaluator’s decision before they even start reading.


First, if specifications allow, identify a colour scheme. And if you don’t have a defined colour palette, please do your homework. The aim is to be professional and still make a good first impression on the reader.


In short, ensure you use a consistent design language be it your company logo or letterhead. Also, original styles are memorable. They stick in the minds of those reviewing the submission.


Are you now ready to...


Score Those Vital Extra Points


Let’s face it. Tendering is back-breaking, stressful and time-consuming for your business. Each bid is different and must be tailored to the client’s specific demands.


A well-designed tender document helps demonstrate to potential clients that you take great care in your work and have impressive attention to detail. They believe that this quality is transferable when it comes to delivering a project.


And as revealed above, it’s the little things that matter. And no, these techniques are not meant to substitute other methods of tendering. You can use them to complement other tactics to increase your chances of success.


Now make it happen.

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Techniques to Win Your Next Tender

Techniques to Win Your Next Tender
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