Tenders and Proposals Made Simple (2nd ed.)

Rodney Overton,

Tenders and Proposals Made Simple
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.

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