We are delighted to announce that three of our experienced bid writers – Hannah Robinson, Craig Sutch, and Ciaran Clint – have been promoted to senior bid writing roles in recognition of their knowledge, skills and expertise. In celebration, Hannah has taken the time to explain her experience at Executive Compass, what she has learned, and what being a senior bid writer means.
I joined Executive Compass as a bid writer in 2020 whilst completing my Master’s degree in Business with Management. Since then, I have led or contributed to projects in many different sectors, including security, construction, recruitment, grounds maintenance, fire safety and electrical works, before being promoted to senior bid writer in 2022 alongside my colleagues Craig and Ciaran. The past two years have given me the experience and knowledge to develop my skills as a writer, as well as enhancing my confidence when interacting with clients and managing submissions.
What have I learnt as a bid writer?
As a graduate in 2020 entering my first professional role, I had a lot to learn about how to be a successful bid writer, including what bid writing actually was and the terminology and processes involved in bidding. Whilst learning the basics and developing my knowledge of the various industries I write for has been incredibly important, the key learnings I have taken away from my experience include:
- Deconstructing the question. By splitting each question into themes and highlighting subpoints, I’m confident I have covered every part of the question in my response and am in the best position to achieve high marks from the evaluator.
- Answer planning. Ahead of every client call, I write a list of questions or information I need in order to make the most of my client’s time and to ensure all topics are covered, enabling me to write a high-quality response. Questions help guide my discussion with the client, resulting in a more productive conversation and the sharing of more relevant, focused information.
- Good organisation. As soon as I mobilise a project, I make a list of all the deadlines (for example, the clarification and final deadline), the questions included in our quotation and any required documents to guarantee nothing is missed or overlooked before the deadline.
- Working well as a team. When working with co-writers, good communication is integral to ensure the client’s information is understood, to guarantee consistency across all the responses (for example, using consistent terms when referring to service users or job roles) and to make sure the submission sounds like it has the same ‘voice’. Good communication also enables us to share ideas to enhance the responses further, providing additional benefits for the client.
- Taking on criticism effectively. Following a review from a quality manager, I always take care to read and accommodate ideas/suggestions, integrating them into the response. If I’m not sure on or disagree with a comment, I would always take the time to discuss that with the quality manager to clear up any confusion, ensuring the client receives the best version of the response.
- Good presentation and graphic design. Changing font colours, sizes and spacing (if permitted) helps to make my responses look more professional, with diagrams, tables and charts providing new ways to present information in a more aesthetically pleasing format.
What does it mean to be a senior writer?
For me, one of the most important parts of the senior writer role is being a supportive influence for newer members of the team, where I can use my skills and experience to provide advice and guidance for people who are in the same position I was in two years ago. This also involves being a good example for anyone to follow within the business, for example, by ensuring all documentation is filled out correctly, being professional during board meetings and conducting client phone calls in accordance with my training.
Being a senior bid writer also involves being a supportive, knowledgeable presence for my clients, providing suggestions based on experience where needed and being trustworthy, reliable and well-informed during the end-to-end submission process.
Due to the highly competitive nature of tendering, bid writers are becoming increasingly valued as firms recognise that they need the expertise and experience of tendering experts to produce winning bids.
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