7 Ways to Get Your Bid Noticed
But how do you know it’ll get NOTICED?
Although there’s never a guarantee you’ll be the winning bid, there are several steps you can take to set your bid apart from the competition. We’ve outlined our top 7 to help you put your best foot forward:
Read the Request for Proposal (RFP) thoroughly and take note of the details.
Bids may require the submittal of several copies, signatures in blue ink and particular forms completed in a certain font. Okay, maybe not a particular font, but you get the picture. Pay close attention to each of these details throughout the response process because the first step to winning is not getting thrown out due to a technicality.
Know how the response will be evaluated.
Understanding how the response will be evaluated can make or break you, so use the evaluation criteria as the outline for your response. Take the list straight from the RFP, add it verbatim to your response, bold each piece and write paragraphs explaining how you can meet each criteria. For example, if years of experience is a listed criteria, talk about your company’s years of experience and share some knowledge you’ve gained over the years to illustrate your ability to perform the job at hand.
Clearly communicate the value you bring to the table.
Some people will refuse to submit a bid because they don’t think they can compete in price. To combat that, mention the value and services that ARE included in your price. If you charge a little more than the next guy, but your price included a dedicated account executive that is on call and willing to provide hands-on assistance when the item you sell them fails; well, that might be something a local government is willing to pay a little extra for.
Use the same formatting style as the RFP.
If the RFP uses roman numerals to list its requirements, then use roman numerals in your response. If it uses lettered lists to organize their request, use lettered lists to reply. Organizing your response as a mirror image of the RFP helps you ensure you haven’t forgotten to respond to an important piece of the request and clearly shows the reviewers that you haven’t left anything out. The easier it is for them to check the box, the happier they’ll be to read the documents you’ve provided.
Simplify your response.
Use charts or graphs to simplify the message you want to convey. If you provide options for the reviewers to consider, share them both in chart form so it’s easy to see the difference between option A as opposed to option B. It’s okay (and probably appreciated!) to provide options. Just make it easy for them to see and compare your information.
Edit your response and then edit it again.
Ever heard the phrase, “say what you mean and mean what you say?” If the reviewers find a lot of grammatical errors or if the response is choppy and difficult to follow, it’s likely they’ll push it to the side. Make sure there is a flow to the document and the response makes sense. You may even consider a proofreading buddy or a professional proofreading service to help catch errors you might have missed.
Submit the response on time.
Don’t let your hard work get thrown in the trash because you submitted your response at 2:01 instead of the 2:00 pm deadline. Give yourself plenty of time to read the RFP, respond to the RFP correctly and get it in the right hands before the deadline. This is your time to show them why you are the best choice. Make it easy for them!
Have any best practices to add to our list? Add them to the comments below…we’d love your thoughts!
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