3 Questions Buyers Ask When Evaluating Proposals and Tender responses

    November 13, 2002

No matter what the buying situation (proposal, RFP, tender, or EOI), and no matter what “evaluation criteria” you are provided with, buyers consider just 3 areas when it comes to deciding upon a supplier.

If you can address each one of these areas in the most effective way possible you’re certain to make the shortlist.

BUT, if you fail to address just one of them, you have little hope of securing that deal.

Keep reading and you’ll find out what these factors are and how to ensure you address them powerfully.

1. Is the proposal/tender compliant?

At face, value this is a fairly “self-evident” type of question but once you dig below the surface, it’s not as straight-forward as it first appears. It’s not JUST about addressing their “published” selection criteria.

It has to be compliant with specific specifications, with their evaluation criteria AND with overall purchasing policy.

* Your document effectively and comprehensively answers all the selection criteria.

* Your company complies with all mandatory requirements set out in the documentation.

* Your document complies with their specific purchasing policy eg. enhancing local community etc.

* Pro-active not re-active – you offer proactive solutions not just solutions to the needs they have already specified.

* Your document reads between the lines and relates to the real needs of the buyer.

* It has been submitted before the due date.

* It includes all attachments. Nothing has been left out.

* It relates buyer’s needs back to benefits offered by the service or product.

2. Is your proposal perceived to be credible?

Note the word “perceived”. You could be the most credible and experienced company bidding for the contract but if you do a poor job of selling your credibility, you may end up being perceived as being less credible than your competitors.

* You are large enough to amply service the needs of the buyer.

* You have a strong track record of efficiency.

* You have QA.

* You have experience dealing with Government.

* You have a long list of testimonials and case studies included in the document.

* You offer a money back guarantee.

* Your company has been established for some time.

* You have addressed the buyer’s needs well and in an experiential manner. You use case studies and analogies to illustrate a point.

* Your key staff have considerable expertise.

* You have been trading profitably for a number of years.

* You seem to gain a fair amount of media coverage (clippings included in back of document).

* You are a market leader.

* You have an impressive client list.

* You have a client service guarantee or creed.

* You have an impressive list of professional memberships.

3. Are you offering good value-for-money?

* After reading your tender, the buyer perceives the potential return-on-investment to be far greater than the price quoted.

* They perceive the value your company offers to be far greater than the value offered by other bidders.

* Your company offers a strong point-of-difference that differentiates them from other suppliers in terms of quality, ocation, performance, delivery times, customer service levels, measurable results, size, flexibility, range etc.

* You have re-assuring risk management and or risk reversal mechanisms in place.

As you can see, there’s a fair amount to consider to make sure your company comes across as:

* being the most credible; * offering the best value-for-money; * AND being compliant with the buyer’s needs.

Kris Mills of Words that Sell ( http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au/ ) 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:http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au/tendersebook.htm