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Tenders and Proposals Made Simple

Tenders and Proposals Made Simple by Rodney Overton
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Most people involved in a business organisation have had or will have cause to write a detailed Tender, Proposal or Quotation at some time. Some of these documents can be very complex and detailed and run to hundreds of pages and involve a vast amount of time and research, while others may be a simple one page. When, in due course - and in many cases after further complex negotiations -your proposal is finally accepted, all the work seems worthwhile: while those who missed out ponder why their proposal to supply, on what they considered more attractive terms and conditions, failed to attract attention. Conversely many of us have had a Tender, Proposal or Quotation prepared for us to address an important issue and have been disappointed at the lack of detail and preparation involved in the document. We may have been disappointed because the document was roughly hand written and also because it lacked a binder and was held together by a staple, or even worse a paper clip. What is it then that sets a good and winning proposal apart from an ‘also ran’ proposal? Winning a large percentage of the proposals you prepare can obviously be the difference between a having a business which rolls along making modest profits (or none) and one which makes handsome profits. Many businesses are happy if they win one in three proposals while many are lucky to win one a year! Those who can win around eighty percent of their proposals are obviously very good at selecting which proposals to address as well as being extremely good at writing winning proposals and ultimately providing and meeting the real requirements of the client organisation. There is no such thing as an absolutely right, correct and proper way to write a winning tender or proposal. One of the key factors is to ascertain exactly what the potential client really requires, and to then address those requirements in a proposal, that to use the vernacular, ‘rings the bell’ of your prospective client. We hope that the material presented will offer encouragement, suggestions and resources to support new and effective ways of writing and presenting Tenders and Proposal documents.
Martin Books; July 2007
110 pages; ISBN 9781921360251
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Title: Tenders and Proposals Made Simple
Author: Rodney Overton
There is probably no such thing as a level playing field in business. This is especially true when preparing tenders and proposals. The odds will always be in favour of at least one party. Large, national retailers can dictate trading terms and conditions to their suppliers. Of course multi-national suppliers with a global advantage will try and force their terms and conditions on both large and small retailers. Even an incumbent supplier usually has a distinct edge over a new prospective supplier and you should always bear this in mind when preparing tenders and proposals. Virtually everybody who has ever prepared a proposal has had the experience of quoting for a large potential order, and then gone through a one sided negotiating process, where the buyer wants to place an order for a much reduced quantity at the price quoted for larger volumes and deliveries. Even worse you have quoted for one delivery and the buyer wants to negotiate many deliveries, to a number of distant destinations. Another common trap is packaging. You quote for large quantities of industrial products in bulk in drums. After you are awarded the order the buyer insists upon small 1 kg. packets. Who pays for the difference in these cases? Very seldom is it the buyer of course. Never assume that the buyer will pay you on their terms - they seldom will. And make sure the buyer is able to pay you.