Right now, we’re working on a manufacturing tender. Our client has deep sector experience, a stellar track record, and an impressive stable of clients. It should have very strong prospects of success. The question is, will it succeed? Here are three tendering tips to help you avoid losing a bid you could have won.
Before responding to a RFP, ask questions
All too often businesses miss or ignore the opportunity to ask questions during the period within which they can. Why would you not? Our client missed this opportunity which means we’re now making assumptions. Assumptions about the evaluation criteria. Assumptions about how the evaluation criteria are weighted. Assumptions about who is on the evaluation committee. It’s a fact of life that your business will lose its share of tenders. Don’t lose more than your share out of negligence or carelessness.
While responding to a RFP, answer the question
It’s fine – efficient, practical – to repurpose content from a previous submission but don’t fall victim to the cut-and-paste-and-walk-away. Even the best written or produced content will need to be customised to the opportunity at hand. Each RFP will contain unique questions, or at least frame common questions in a peculiar manner. Approach your tenders as you would an exam: Answer. The. Question.
To position for success, question your point of difference
It doesn’t matter what industry or category we’re working with, just about every business struggles with identifying its differentiators, its points of difference, its unique value proposition. If your business is going to invest in one thing, let it be this. As is commonly the case, our client keeps falling back on the strength of its team, its industry expertise… Unfortunately, in almost every situation these are not points of difference – they’re what’s needed to play. They’re probably what the client used to pre-qualify the businesses it invited to tender. This is why you won’t hear anyone from Market Expertise spouting our credentials or experience as points of difference. What distinguishes us is that we’re the leading (perhaps the only) B2B marketing agency that specialises in services, solutions and intangible products. That’s different.