Tender Writing Skills

Published by SMETenders on

If you’re looking to win new business, a poorly written and presented bid won’t get you very far through the process, no matter how well qualified or experienced your Company. The end client will probably be left feeling underwhelmed on the effort and consideration that has gone into your submission.

Successful tender writing is a key factor in winning new business for all sizes of company, but for SMEs in particular it is vital to show that you are professional, organised and business-like.

Your writing needs to reflect your expertise to deliver the service being commissioned. Your bid won’t get past the starting post if its untidy, poorly structured, contains spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or simply doesn’t meet the brief. Failure to write in a coherent and persuasive manner will lose you points and more importantly may lose you the tender. In the worst case scenario, a misplaced typo that changes the meaning of a sentence or compliance response could be the difference between pass/fail.

Know your audience

Tailor the bid to the client – they want to know you understand the brief and can deliver what they need. Generic responses show a lack of engagement – if you’re churning out ‘one size fits all’ answers, it will show. Instead, make sure you know who is going to be reading your tender/proposal and know why they are commissioning this work – what is their need?

In your response you can then demonstrate that you understand the history behind the previous work and show how your additional expertise and experience can help. Demonstrate how you can further engage the wider population to whom the commissioners are answerable.

The benefits of undertaking this research is that your tender appears more credible and more specific. It proves you have thought things through and that you have realistically taken account of the particular features of their requirements and of the contract delivery.

Keep it concise

Commissioning authorities often restrict word count to save time in evaluating tenders, making the quality of sentences and words on the page more important than ever.

Write simply. Plain English always works. Your audience don’t want to wade through pages of complex and flowery sentences that belong in the Victorian era. Always plan the structure – include the beginning, middle and end with section headings to highlight the important points.

Make it persuasive

A well written persuasive tender is all about selling; showing off your business and what it can offer. Your tender submission is the only sales tool present when the buyers are behind closed doors making their assessment and decision. It needs to do the persuading on its own.

Persuasive writing skills are the ability to convey a strong message with as few words as possible that creates a positive (decision making) reaction in the reader.

When writing persuasively you need to know your objectives. What is it that you can offer the client? What do they need and how can you best provide it? Keep it positive, provide plenty of relevant examples/evidence and focus on a win-win scenario for you and the client.

Check spelling and grammar

Be aware of basic grammar, style and spelling errors which flag up a poorly written bid. Be careful with commonly misspelled words, such as ‘except’ v ‘accept’. It can change the meaning of a sentence completely if used incorrectly. Consider the use of specialist grammar checking software, not just relying on the spell check that is already o your computer.

Work to your strengths

If you’re highly skilled in your trade and you have an expert team behind you for delivery, the only hurdle you may face is writing the submission. If you know your writing is less than perfect and you’d much rather be out there doing the job, this is where bid support companies such as SME Tenders come in.

Bid writing companies know how to win tenders. They can write. They can format the application in the prescribed style for the client and they know how to sell your company. If writing a document evidencing your company’s skills fills you with dread then leave it to us as external specialist Bid Writers. Get in touch for any help you might need when it comes to making a bid. Just call 0161 820 2341 or email info@smetenders.net.

Categories: Tutorial