When a new opportunity lands, it is tempting to rush in and start bid writing straight away, as the clock is already ticking. But it’s vital not to start writing too soon, before planning and preparing.
Here are 10 things to do before you begin writing your bid or proposal.
- Qualify the opportunity – if it’s not realistically winnable, don’t waste your time writing a bid for it.
- Define your win strategy and win themes – if you don’t have a win strategy, it’s too soon to start writing.
- Be clear on the buyer’s ‘hot buttons’ – What is motivating them to buy? What are their pain points? What would make their lives easier?
- Check who is evaluating your bid – it’s important to understand the audience you’re writing for, before you start putting words down.
- Understand your competition – Where does your solution outperforms theirs – what are your USPs and differentiators? If you don’t know this, walk away from the keyboard and don’t come back until you’re clear on them!
- Ensure your solution offers tangible value and benefits – You need to articulate these to your buyer in your writing, so you need to be clear on them before you write.
- Maximise your scoring potential – If there is a published evaluation criteria, check what is required for a top scoring response. For example, some buyers require you to meet all their requirements to score full marks – others require you to exceed their requirement. If there isn’t an evaluation criteria, then ask for one.
- Shred the questions – If you are responding to a specific RFP or Tender question, break it down in to component parts and unpack all the different elements the buyer is looking for you to respond to.
- Structure your responses – use storyboards and content plans to provide frameworks to write under (addressing 𝘢𝘭𝘭 the component parts you identified at point. As an added bonus, this structured approach makes the writing so much easier than staring at a blank page, wondering where to start!
- Integrate your visuals – include images, charts, diagrams, tables and proof points in your storyboards and content plans. This will help ensure your writing aligns with these features and complements them.
Now you can hit the keyboard and start writing!