We had a lot of late nights last week helping a client respond to a multi-million pound tender. Burning the midnight oil to get it done on time is pretty normal when putting together a bid, so that’s not what made this job different.
Tender responses are usually hefty, detailed, written in legalese and, well, a bit bland. There are good reasons for all of this but it does handicap the ‘selling’ purpose of the document; and what is a bid if not the ultimate opportunity to sell your product or service?
With this particular bid, our client had no choice over the format of their formal response; the tender was issued as a series of questions that had to be answered online and delivered as printouts in a certain way. But the rules did allow for respondents to attach supporting material.
So the client turned to us: could we help them create a good-quality standalone brochure that would really sell their proposed solution to an executive audience?
They recognised that, while their online responses would be pored over by those charged with assessing the proposal in detail, this was not the best way to reach or convince many of the relevant decision-makers. They wanted to explain the proposed solution in clear and compelling language to a non-technical, time-poor audience.
The result is an executive overview that illustrates the solution’s benefits over alternatives, answers likely questions and combats likely objections; without making the audience wade through extraneous detail or ‘hygiene’ factors.
We were really impressed with the way our client recognised, and grabbed, the opportunity to do something different. Bid responses are important and there’s a natural tendency to ‘play it safe’, but there’s still room to innovate. We expect that this approach will help them to stand out against their competitors and improve their chances of winning this prestigious and sizeable deal.