Proposal Writing Sin no.3: NOT KNOWING THY ENEMY

    August 26, 2003

It’s a fact of life that there’s a very good chance that you are racing against every one (or a good portion of) your competitors, so it makes sense to know who is likely to be bidding for the contract.

While most bidders have a feeling of who else is bidding, they spend very little time doing their homework. It’s this lack of investigation that brings down many of them.

Instead, spending quality time investigating who is in the race and what their strengths and weaknesses are in relation to the selection criteria, will help give you an advantage.

Write down how you compare with your major competitors, favourably and not so favourably.

Then, if your company stands out head and shoulders above your competitors, include a version of your competitor analysis in your documentation… in the form of a COMPARISON CHART.

Here you compare apple for apple, fact vs fact in a chart type format revealing your competitors weaknesses and your strengths in an easily viewed format.

A word of caution: Only include undisputable facts, or you could land yourself into hot water, and always seek legal advice before undertaking this activity.

Here’s an example …

Naturally you have seen the Herron/Panadol advertising war on television – how Herron Paracetamol mentions that they have mini-caps, the same as Panadol BUT they’re 100% Australian owned so your money is staying in Australia.

Herron uses a very powerful direct comparison in their ads and they can legally do that because they are dealing in fact.

Imagine what sort of impact your tender response would have if you showed a favourable, FACTUAL comparison between your company and a major competitor.

If you show that the information can be backed up by proof, there’s a good chance you’ll have a very favourable impact. Inside our “Proposals and Tenders that Sell” program we show you how to perform a competitor analysis that evaluates the major players on a number of factual criteria including longevity, guarantees, product/service features, size of staff, range of services etc.

Kris Mills of Words that Sell ( ) is a top selling copywriter, trainer and author of numerous how-to guides including Proposals and Tenders (Bids) that Sell. Kris has also produced a FREE ebook entitled “11 Bid Writing Sins and How to Avoid Them”. To arrange a FREE copy, visit: