Responding to Tender Questions (Part 1)

The next few blogs will be looking at responding to tender questions, PQQs, RFPs etc.

Here are some real basic must-dos – these relate to the earlier blog Tenders and PQQs – Most Common Mistakes

Answer all the questions

Simply put – don’t leave any gaps. If you do, you cannot get marked and that means zero points / no score.

Answer the question

Don’t fudge an answer – if you are not sure then ask.

Also check that you have really answered what is being asked – not what you think is being asked.

Tell the truth!

It’s often tempting to give the answer that is expected eg: “Is your company ISO 9001 accredited?” Too many companies have responded: “The company is in the process of getting 9001 accreditation”. Buyers know this normally translates to “No and no intention of getting it unless you really push me”.

Therefore give a positive response by adding when it is due to be completed (if you really are in the process) or state that you do not have 9001 but do have quality processes in place / would be willing to get it… or just say no. NB if it is a mandatory requirement, then you may just have to pull out.

Provide all the information requested

Double check that everything is included – buyers cannot give good marks to nothing. A typical issue here is not enclosing correct company accounts, insurance documents or policies etc.

Keep to the point

Make sure that you are really answering the question and be concise. Copying and pasting a similar question without prudent editing can often lead to meandering and inaccurate answers… again risking low scores.

As always, any thoughts or comments are always appreciated.

Now read Responding to Tender Questions (Part 2).

2 thoughts on “Responding to Tender Questions (Part 1)”

  1. Tony

    “Excellent reminders on little mistakes that can be made and therefore have an effect on the success of your application. I particularly liked the section on ISO 9001 accreditation. I suppose at the end of the day honesty is the best policy as always.”

  2. ‘Answer all the questions’ – so important.
    In feedback from a recent tender I was told I had scored 40 /160 for answering a question with ‘not applicable’.
    I would have scored higher if I’d put “we don’t feel as though this is required but would look at it if we were to get the contract” or even a reason why it was not applicable.
    It really is a point scoring exercise and a difficult balance between giving a clear concise answer and enough information to score points.

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