Most of us in business will at some point need to lodge a tender or submission. It may be a pitch to win new business, a contract or event, or to win a competition.
Here are out top 10 tips for success when it comes to writing a winning submission.
Answer the question.
Sounds obvious, but a surprising number of people don’t actually answer the question in front of them! Take a moment to consider what is truly being asked of you.
Keep it snappy.
Your submission will be one of many. One of the best ways to make it stand out to cut straight to the chase – no jargon, no acronyms, no waffle.
Use an active voice.
The active voice is more succinct, direct and energetic than passive voice. The best example we can give you is this: “I love you” is active voice. “You are loved by me” is passive. See what we mean? (HINT: That little word “by” is generally a signal that you’re writing in passive voice.)
Keep it personal.
Most submissions are assessed by people. Real people. So our advice is to ensure yours sounds as though a real person has written it! Where appropriate, draw on personal experiences and instead of referring to your business as some kind of vague entity, refer to the people in your business.
What’s in it for me?
Take every opportunity to explain the value you will bring. Be specific about the skills and experience you have and what that will mean for your prospective new customer. So rather than focus on the features of your business, focus on the benefits it will deliver.
Avoid using over-used claims such as ‘we are the leading…’ unless you have hard evidence to back up what you say. Use data, testimonials, case studies or real-life examples to back up every claim you make.
Give good examples.
Give specific yet short and punchy examples of how you make a difference to your clients. Give specific and factual evidence to show how you have helped clients save money, time, etc.
Make it look good.
Whether you are completing an online template or writing your submission from scratch, always ask someone else to proofread it with fresh eyes. Ensure the information flows and is broken up into relevant sections with the use of headings, sub-headings and so on. And if you have the opportunity, invest in professional graphic design services to give your submission the professional polish it deserves!
Jog their memory.
If you have helped this person before make sure you remind them of your skills, try to make them remember you. And if you have worked with them before, what a great opportunity to personalise your submission even further!
Be respectful of what is being asked of you. Always adhere to word limits and any other guidelines and ensure you have answered all questions. And always, ALWAYS respect deadlines for submission!