If you miss the tender deadline, the buyer may think that you’ll miss project deadlines, too.
It may sounds obvious, but too many field service businesses commit one or more of these blunders. They:
These issues are a problem when it comes to winning tenders because:
“It shows a lack of respect for the process and makes it look like you can’t/won’t achieve deadlines provided. Your tender response would be disregarded anyway, so if you’ve made a mistake and missed the deadline, don’t send in your response.“
Mistake #2: You’re bidding for the wrong contracts.
Are you bidding on every contract you come across?
If so, your success rate is probably low because many of these opportunities aren’t the right fit for your field service business.
Instead, be more selective about which contracts you’re trying to tender for and win.
Propeller Studios offers a free bid/no-bid checklist that can help you decide if an opportunity is worth going after.
Mistake #3: You’re not backing up your claims.
Can you prove that you have the highest first-time fix rate in the region?
“Not providing evidence to support your claims is a big mistake in tender writing,”says David Williams, Director of Purple Patch Marketing Consultants in Essex. “For example, if a question is ‘Can you show us how you add value?’ and your answer is ‘Yes, we reduced costs by £3,000’, that’s not good enough. You’ve got to back up your claims with evidence.“
David puts it perfectly. Without evidence to back up claims, prospects aren’t going to consider your bid.
Mistake #4: You’re bidding on price.
Bids win on the value offered, not just price your charge.
Many plumbing, heating, HVAC, electrical, fire & security, and property management businesses believe the final contract decision comes down to price.
After all, the lowest price will always win, right?
“Commissioners buy value, not price,” says Tony McKelvie, a Director at Tenders-UK in Leicestershire. “Value is quality divided by cost. Everything you do that increases quality increases value—so if you want to win a tender, win on quality. There will always be some guy cheaper than you.“
You want your quality to be so far ahead of what your competitors are offering that price is irrelevant.
Mistake #5: Your costings are inaccurate.
Errors in calculations may cause a buyer to toss your tender.
Those are all things to shout about in your tender. However, when it’s all about you, you’re failing to put the focus where it belongs: on the client.
Search through your tender for the word “we” vs. mentions of your business name.
If the tender is packed with them, think about how to rephrase them. After all, the question the client will be asking as they read your tender is “What’s in it for me?”.
Make sure to use we-centric phrases: “we”, “us”, “together”. These will indicate that you’re entering into a partnership and give the buyer confidence you’re putting them at the heart of your approach.
Mistake #7: Your tender is full of typos and grammatical mistakes.
Spelling and grammar matter.
Even if you pick just the right contract opportunities and offer tons of value in your tender, if the tender is riddled with spelling and grammar issues, your business will come off as unprofessional.
Grammar and spell check tools can help, like Grammarly, but they don’t always pick up on every problem.
However, in our post on how to write a tender, we share three unusual ways to help catch every mistake in your document.
Here are a few more:
Remember, your tender is a reflection of your business—so it needs to be clean and error-free.
Mistake #8: You keep reusing old copy
If you’re committing Tender Mistake #2 (bidding for the wrong contracts), you may also be guilty of this one.