Put yourself in their shoes
- Who you are tendering to – the organisation and its style of working
- What exactly are you tendering for – specific aims and requirements (not generic)
- Who is involved in making the decision?
- The individuals and what they want or are looking for eg HR will have a focus on people whereas H&S will first look at safety
- Do they have any pre-conceptions (or miss-conceptions) to overcome?
Once you’ve considered these aspects, show your understanding in your tender response – this will help to engage the individuals on the panel who will then see that your response is all about their needs… this will help increase your score (and therefore increase your chances of winning the tender).
Think about the issues they face eg aims, problems, needs etc. Then show your understanding – if you can also show how you will help solve their problems – that is powerful!
What’s in it for them?
Remember that you are not just looking to provide your service or product for a price – you need to offer a solution that helps them move forward / solve a problem / get better / save money and so on. This means…
Tell them what is in it for them by showing the benefits of choosing you. In sales training you learn the difference between features and benefits:
Features are what it is eg a dedicated contract manager
Benefits say what is does eg you will have someone managing your contract on a daily basis who will be on-site / on-call to personally resolve any issues immediately. This will not only save you management time but also ensure that a high quality of service is delivered at all times.
If you can say “so what” then you haven’t got a benefit. However an easy way of finding the benefit is to say “which means that…”
The old adage in advertising and in selling is that “benefits sell”. This is so true and is a key ingredient of a winning tender.
Remember that tendering is still selling – just very a very formal way of selling!
Now see Responding to Tender Questions (Part 4) but if you have any thoughts or comments, please do leave a reply below.