Is your tender presentation good enough to win?

Is tender presentation important?

Good presentation of your tender or proposal documentation will help you to win work. Poor presentation WILL lose you work. To win tenders your proposals must present your organisation as a professional, reliable and credible supplier.

Some professionals have told me that they DO NOT believe that the quality of their proposal document will influence the assessment. But I know of cases where proposals have been rejected because they were so poorly presented.

Many business development professionals suggest that the assessors are only after facts and figures to make a rational and impartial decision. “Window-dressing” will not influence the decision. It is true that if you are the only company presenting a conforming bid or that your bid is very superior in value —you will win on the merits of your proposal. However when the assessors have to choose the best bid from a group of similar and conforming bids, good presentation comes into play.

So what is professional tender presentation?

Good presentation is not just making your document “pretty” it is also about creating a document that is easy to read, easy to understand, and that has clear and coherent messaging. A well-presented document represents your organisation as credible, professional and able to deliver on your promises. A poorly presented document may send the messages that you don’t care, that you don’t have enough resources to create a good proposal (and maybe the job) or that you are not at the same level as your competitors.

Presentation is about dressing to win

A good analogy with how you present your document is how you present yourself, how you dress. You dress professionally every day when you go to work. When you have to stand up in front of people (for an interview for instance) you make sure you take it up a notch. You probably choose to wear your best suit with quality shoes, you may have your hair cut, you will try to look as attractive and confident as you can. You want to talk well, speak credibly about your subject and show that you are organised and capable.

Why? You want to show a higher level of professionalism than your competitors, colleagues or rivals—you want to win. The same should be true of your document. Make sure it looks good and expresses itself well if you want it to win.