From our experience of working on previous legal services tenders we have identified a number of common mistakes that prevent tenderers from winning contracts. By avoiding the mistakes detailed below you can differentiate yourself from rival bidders and enhance your prospects of success.
Unique Selling Points (USPs)
When submitting a tender think of the unique selling points that make you stand out from the competition and which could result in you appearing favourably in the eyes of the evaluator. This could be a system, piece of computer software, your experience in a particular sector or another reason that gives you an advantage over rival bidders. Once you have established your USP include this within the tender or PQQ, supported with evidence of its success, in order to improve your prospects of success.
Appropriate Writing Styles
In your day-to-day work, writing in a legal and formal manner is the norm, but this should not apply when writing a tender. It will usually result in a broken and disjointed narrative that will be hard for the assessor to read. Similarly, writing in too informal a manner will only make you look unprofessional. To gain maximum points when tendering you should strike a balance between formal and informal – write in a user-friendly but professional manner to sell your company and its services.
Tell a Story
Along with developing an appropriate writing style for the tender, telling a fluid and informative story to the assessor is a vital factor. Imagine that you are assessing the submission – you would like to be given all the information required to make the correct decision. Give the assessor all the information that they require and guide them through your bid and its key themes, in a manner which they can easily follow and understand. This will ensure that the assessor is neither bored nor confused, and will therefore help them to provide you with high scores in all sections of your submission.
The Value of Information
You may have a good reputation, but this will mean nothing to the assessor, who will mark your submission objectively based on its contents. A common mistake made by all tenderers is to assume that the contracting authority knows everything about their company. This leads to complacency as vital information can often be left out of a bid, undermining the submission and reducing your prospects of success. Include all relevant information regarding your company, including your experience, strengths and how you will manage the contract. The less doubt you leave in the mind of the assessor, the higher your chances of winning.
An important and persuasive tool when tendering is the use of case studies, providing direct evidence of your capabilities and experience. Legal services tenders are no exception; therefore, be sure to compile a set of prominent and relevant case studies to use as examples in your case. When completed these should be used at appropriate points in your PQQ or tender to show off your skills and provide full reassurance to the assessor of your abilities. Consider too any challenges that you were presented with and how you overcame them, as well as any lessons you have learnt for the future, and any evidence of your commitment to continual improvement.
Proofread Your Work
Another pertinent and important aspect of bid writing is the use of a proofreader to check a submission for readability, spelling and grammar. Ideally use an external professional proofreader or someone in your business who is not connected with your work to provide an objective assessment of its quality. This impartial analysis should highlight any deficiencies and ensure that the submission is as professional and readable as possible.
We are experienced in bid and tender writing in legal services and can assist you with any PQQ or tender to maximise your prospects of success. From our dealings with clients, we understand the stress of tendering and can take it all off your hands so that you can focus upon running your business and assisting your clients. Contact us free on 0800 612 5563 to discuss how we can help you with any bid and tender writing matters.