You and your team have spent many days, and possibly even late nights, creating and refining your perfect bid or tender.
The content is great and the layout, design and overall look of the document is first class.
Now its complete you’re feeling very positive about your chances of winning the new business.
However, after all that work and dedication the shocking truth about bids and tenders is that everything comes down to the first 2 minutes.
In just 2 minutes of reading your bid or tender, the assessor will decide whether you win or lose.
Have you done enough?
First impressions are not just the graphic design and pictures, the text must quickly create that all important positive first impression.
You must quickly convince the assessor that your responses are relevant, client-focused, rather than generic cut-and-paste.
What does the text in your bid look like?
Big paragraphs, few pictures or graphics, and fewer headlines and the assessor is already thinking, “Oh no, this is going to be hard work; boring, impenetrable. I think I will start with an easier submission.”
The problem is by the time they get back to yours their mind is made up. Primacy rules OK.
Alternatively, maybe you have small paragraphs of 1 or 2 lines, lots of tables and graphics, lots of bullet pointed lists.
This time, the page is so noisy, where does the assessor start reading?
There is no clear flow or progression to the response. It’s very hard to follow, harder to score. “I’ll put it down and come back to it later.”
And then they start reading
Do your paragraphs start with ‘we’ or ‘our’ or your company name?
If so the assessor will very quickly form the impression that your submission:
- Is all about you not about the client’s needs and objectives
- Consists of standard paragraphs cut-and-pasted from a library
- Is nothing more than a sales and marketing document
Similarly, if you have used your jargon and your vocabulary, rather than language and terminology from the ITT or RFP, the assessor will quickly get the impression your bid is not a focused response to their document but a collection of generic cut and paste.
How to win over an assessor – a Checklist
- Is there white space between the blocks of text?
- Have you used bite-sized paragraphs?
- Are there frequent headlines?
- Are the client’s words and phrases frequently used?
- Are words and phrases from the question and score scheme frequently used?
- Does the text have a clear starting point and flow in a logical and progressive manner?
Work through your completed bid and make sure you can ‘tick-off’ all the points in the checklist.
If you can, you’re on your way to submitting a bid that stands a high chance of passing the 2 minute test and being considered in greater detail.