Create Bids that Make a Strong Impact

Many businesses are restricted on time and find pitching an overwhelming prospect with limited resources. Often, it’s the writing component of a bid which overwhelms people.  It’s not a skill many people are comfortable with. It can also be tricky to keep the document aligned where there is a mix of technical and sector experts developing different sections of the bid.

Here are some tips on how to write a persuasive document.

#1. Write for your audience.

Develop your content with the audience in mind. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would be looking to hear if you wanted to buy this product or service. Consider their problems and how you can solve them. Show them that you understand them and make sure your content is tailored – it’s easy to spot a generic response that doesn’t quite answer the question. This may mean you are scoring low against the evaluation criteria, or at worst, not submitting a compliant response which scores zero and may take you out of the competition. Winning bids are those that have answered the questions properly and provided a tailored response aligned to the needs of reader.

#2. Ensure a strong proposition.

Be honest with yourselves… is it a strong enough offering? If not, you may want to reconsider whether you should bid. Or it may need strengthening in a few areas. Carefully consider the RFP or RFT and check out the evaluation criteria. Work out what they are looking for and if you are a good fit. If your proposed solution isn’t strong enough it can be a waste of time for them and for you too. In some cases, it could even discredit you and your brand if you decide to bid on something you aren’t really geared up for. Once you have worked out your offering and are happy that the proposition is compelling enough, the writing can begin.

If you’re trying to sell a jet engine to your prospect, ask yourself how much detail they really need. They don’t need the operations manual in the proposal. They need to understand why it is the right solution for them. You can use appendices if you desperately need to provide technical information but assume that at least one person on the receiving end of this proposal does not have any knowledge of how jet engines work. They simply want to know if they should trust YOU to know.

#3. Build credibility.

In modern bidding, the procurement process is using a weighted evaluation criteria which scores each response based on how thoroughly they have answered the question – and how well they have backed it up with evidence. Evidence helps give proof and builds trust. Saying you are ‘highly experienced’ or ‘an industry leader’ is great, but back it up with detail. There are many types of evidence you can use to build credibility – case studies, quotes, accolades, testimonials from trusted clients, facts, figures and statistics.

#4. Make it look good.

Even the most amazing written response needs to look good. You can spend hours on the content but if it isn’t visually appealing, will anyone read it? Use headers to carve up text, include boxes for key messages, use bullets to split out lists, add infographics and use pictures. Keep it simple, remove the jargon and place yourself in the reader’s shoes. Make it a pitch document that people want to read.

The balance between too much and too little can be tricky. Try and make sure you appeal to different audiences. Make it easy for skim readers to quickly work out your solution and key messages but provide enough content for a reader that requires more detailed content. Different audiences are looking for different things so you need to consider the various ways your content will be viewed.

#5. Commit.

What solution do you have that is more compelling than your competitors? Do you have an innovative approach, or key experience they won’t find elsewhere? Put some skin in the game. Tell them what you will save for them. Make a promise that is achievable, but better than they have now. This might be an offer to save them money, deliver increased outcomes, to introduce new operating or process models, or to provide added value in other ways. Make it measurable and commit.

With no prizes for second place, tenders are an expensive business. To be successful you need to develop a winning bid strategy and ensure a well-planned approach.

PitchThis is a team of passionate individuals who are serious about winning work for our clients. We are made up of bid and tendering specialists who understand the procurement regulations and know how to create persuasive pitches and presentations. Having worked on bids all over the world we adopt a best practice approach and help our clients avoid the common mistakes found in the bidding world. GET IN TOUCH with our team today for a no obligation 15-minute consultation.

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