How to write a tender

By December 2, 2019No Comments

Faced with a hefty invitation to tender and a looming deadline? The process of creating a tender document can be daunting.  When you are pinning your hopes on this crucial next win, anxiety can quickly mount and the instinct is to jump in and throw everything at each question.

Stop, take a breath and plan your approach.  It’s something Editing Edge are familiar with.  We work with our clients to create persuasive proposals from the reams of background information they provide.

We’re feeling generous so we want to share our 15 top tips to creating a compelling tender:

how to write a tender


Understand what they want

  1. Understand what your prospective client will want from the project and why it is important to them. Keep coming back to that in your responses.
  2. Read the brief carefully and pick up on key phrases the client is looking for. In a recent tender we created for a client in the housebuilding sector, the prospective buyer stated, “We want partners who are hungry” …. This led us to demonstrate how our client was both lean (efficient) and hungry (with a huge appetite and convincing strategy for growth). We then stressed the benefits to both parties of partnering together.
  3. Each tendering process will have its own specific questions testing technical expertise and capacity to handle the work. Focus on the questions asked. If limited on responses, use your maximum word count for each question – but cut out any waffle and keep it relevant.
  4. This tender bid is not about you. It’s about the buyer. They don’t care about you; they care about what you can do for them. Make it easy for them to see how you can help them. Your business has been around for 20 years. So what? How about: In the 20 years we have been in business we have established close ties with our suppliers, generating significant buying discounts. These cheaper raw materials are passed on to our clients through our competitive pricing. 
  5. Have an understanding of the challenges involved. Show that you’ve listened to the client’s needs and found them the right solution.

What makes you the right choice?

  1. What makes you perfect for the job? Detail how your capabilities match the client’s exact requirements.
  2. Provide evidence for the claims in your responses. Reports, statistics and testimonials can help to convince the client of your organisation’s strengths. Add context to show why what you have achieved is important e.g. the first British company into the challenging Chinese market; the innovation that gives millions of bank customers better service.
  3. Be clear on your firm’s USPs (unique selling points). Highlight your differentiators and why they are relevant to the specific project tendered for.
  4. Mention any award wins and give examples of challenges overcome in previous projects (with images).
  5. Show you are credible and ready if you win the tender. Use proof that you can handle it; in-house expertise ready to roll on it, staff numbers, a nod to financials if required.

The finishing touches

  1. If allowed, visuals can also help to reinforce your point and provide evidence for your submission. The use of tables, images, screenshots and graphs will make your bid stand out and break up pages of written narrative.
  2. The human element is vital – use human examples throughout. Use lots of testimonials to back up your boasting.
  3. Keep your language simple and concise. Flowery words will not gain you extra points and will just make your submission harder to read and evaluate.
  4. Don’t forget in your conclusion to express why you would love to get this gig.
  5. When the written tender is completed, take time to proofread and review. If you can, bring in a fresh pair of eyes to make sure it reads well and to spot the mistakes. There are bound to be a few!

Increase the chances of winning your next tender bid by giving us a call at Editing Edge.  We love being part of a winning team.



I’m Lesley Hussell and my job is to bring some copywriting magic to your business, so you sell more, inspire your staff or spread your message far and wide. You’ll want to know how I measure up against other copywriters you’re considering, and whether I’m good enough to be trusted with your brand. If you’re looking for quick wit, creative thinking and a flair for compelling content writing.