If you are a company with a strong product or service offering, writing winning bids or tenders for international business can be an extremely lucrative growth opportunity. Many organisations are put off by the process of international bidding, which can seem like an exercise that costs an enormous amount of time and energy yet offers little chance of success. It doesn’t have to be.
Be selective about the bids you respond to. Read the criteria and make sure you meet the minimum requirements, that you can deliver the solution and that it stands out from the competition.
Sometimes an ITT’s priorities are unclear and it can be difficult to understand what the customer really needs. Take the time to research as much as possible beyond the ITT. If possible, communicate with the potential customer throughout the process to get as much insight as you can.
Writing a bid or tender is not simply an opportunity to cut and paste sales messages about your product or service. Show you understand your client by outlining their specific problems and then providing your personalised solution, backed up by hard evidence and case studies.
You are providing something of real value to your customer, so position yourself as an expert. Answer every question as fully as possible – if you can’t then explain why. Use clear, concise language and state your abilities with absolute assurance. Demonstrating your expertise is the simplest way to inspire trust in your solution.
Depending on the industry and country of your target customer, some will want to know whether you understand their culture and whether you demonstrate suitable soft skills. However, others will simply be satisfied to know that you have a good grasp of their core requirements and can get the job done at a competitive price. Make sure you’re aware of their expectations beforehand and tailor your bid or tender accordingly.
Accurately translating your bid into your customer’s language can be the difference between winning the contract and being cast aside. Giving the work to students or using machine translation tools like Google translate will actually decrease your chances of success. You have a far greater likelihood of succeeding if you give your bid to a professional translating service. Make sure they employ native language speakers who are experts in your industry, its market dynamics and terminology, and who understand the tendering process itself.
Whether you need to respond to an RFI, RFP, RFQ or RFT, your translation service should already have the knowledge, resources and technology in place to be able to deliver large projects within a short timescale without compromising on quality.