Winning a Tender – It’s Like Passing an Exam

If you thought, in order to win tenders, all you need is to quote the lowest bid in an impressive letter, think again. It takes much more than that! It’s quite similar to clearing an exam; you’ve to prepare well, understand and follow the instructions and be able to present your case in a brief yet convincing way. 

Meet the Client

In order to clearly understand their requirements, if possible it’s a good idea to meet the client. However, it’s only possible before the issue of tender request because the rules generally don’t allow the tenderer to meet the client after the request is out. Not only will you be able to get an insight into the client’s needs, you’ll all be able to provide useful input for document preparation. 

Gauge Your Competition. It goes a long way if you know whom you’re competing with. So, ask the following questions:

– Who will be bidding for the tender? 

– How do you compare with them? 

– What’s your UVP (Unique Value Proposition)? 

In a nutshell, you have to convince the client that you’re the best option available among all the bidders, not just based on price. 

Stick to the Timelines

Although it’s possible to seek extra time, it’s generally best to follow the laid down timelines for tender submission. After all, if a tenderer can’t submit the tender documents in time, how’s the client supposed to have confidence in your companies ability to deliver the requisite goods/services within the contract period? 

Logical, isn’t it? That’s why, it’s very important to stick to the original deadlines. 

Just as a student goes through previous years’ questions and answers while preparing for an exam, you must go through the earlier tenders issued by the client. This will let you be prepared with certain portions of the tender in advance, thereby saving precious time! 

How to Decide Whether to Submit a Tender or Not

Submission of a tender is a time-consuming process and you must invest your time smartly. Before putting in the effort, you must read the tender request thoroughly and ask the following questions:

– Are the customer’s requirements clear to me? 

– Do my products/services fulfill the customer’s requirements? 

– Can my company comply with the tender rules? 

– Will I be able to prepare a competitive tender within the allotted time frame? 

– Does my company stand a fair chance of getting the contract? 

Note. If your answer to any of these questions is negative, it’s advisable to not fill-in the tender. 

What Should You Look for in a Tender Request

Apart from the usual points, the most important aspect that should be clearly stated in a tender request is the mode of evaluation. All your answers should comply with these factors to avoid the possibility of your tender document getting dismissed. 

The other critical point is that you must submit the tender in the prescribed format rather than using your own format. This makes it easy for the tender evaluation committee to check your documents. If you’ve some additional data to submit, you can attach the same as appendices. 

Is Price the Deciding Factor

Although you can’t underestimate the importance of price, it’s not the only factor. What a client is looking for is the best value for money; it may or may not be offered by the lowest bidder. However, you shouldn’t go much beyond 10% above the lowest bid, while bringing out your UVP clearly. 


You must remember that just like an advertisement, a tender document is also aimed at selling your product/service to the customer. So, apart from complying to the client’s format and other requirements, your tender should highlight what the client will get by awarding the contract to you in comparison to your competitors.

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