The pressure to win new business in today’s market has never been so great. With more firms chasing less work, the market has become highly competitive. Consequently, firms have had to adapt and retune their business development models. How firms design and package their bid presentation can make the difference between success and failure.
How you look is a big influencer on how people react to you, especially if they are unfamiliar with your business. Of course, clients want to work with professionals and experts in their field. However, in today’s market they can afford to be selective and work with people who are dynamic and progressive. Creating a typical standard document gets you nowhere. Be prepared to be bold and clever in order to stand out.
Tenders come in different shapes and sizes. Firms respond by using a variety of applications such as Word, PowerPoint and In-Design. There is no right or wrong application for replying to tenders, but In-Design or a similar design package can enhance the creativity of your response. Remember though, that accountants, lawyers and business development people are not designers. Focus on getting the content right and, where possible, use designers for the design work.
There is a balance to be achieved in trying to design a document that satisfies the needs of different stakeholders. However, if you are not pushing how you present your key differentiating messages, brand values and personality, your competitors will be. When your client has a few tender documents in front of them, all roughly saying the same thing, they are more likely to reject yours if it’s just another run-of-the-mill document.