One of the main reasons government organisations and private companies issue a request for tenders is to make sure they are selecting suppliers and service providers that are perfect for their requirements. In today's competitive marketplace, you should ensure your tender response stands out from the crowd.
Providing all relevant information in the requested format is an essential part of writing a successful tender response, but it is equally important to work out your business's Unique Selling Point (USP). Your USP should distinguish your tender response from your competition.
What is a 'Unique Selling Point'?
In the tendering process, you and your company will be competing against numerous other businesses. You should have a clear message to present why the buyer should choose your company and what makes your business better than your competitors.
As highlighted by the Business Queensland Government, your USP is the marketing message you use to sell your products and services to prospective customers.
Your USP is also a valuable part of your capability statement document. It can be emphasised in the description of your products and services. Read more about how to write a winning capability statement in our November blog.
1. Developing your USP
When developing your USP, ensure you have your business in mind by answering the following questions:
- What does my business do that no one else can do?
- What is unique about my business?
- What is my unique story (this may include how you select your product, your service standards, your staff training)?
- How can this be made different from my competitors?
- What needs or wants is the buyer trying to satisfy?
- What is the main reason the buyer should select from me?
- What can I do to match or exceed my buyer's expectations?
- What can I do to make sure the buyer gets what they want?
Your USP should be focused on your customers' needs and wants. It should tell them, the main benefit they get from doing business with you and why your offer is different from what your competitors offer. For example, a cleaning service provider may highlight their competitive advantage as 'reliable premium cleaning with a personal touch'.
2. Addressing your USP
Below is a list of areas in a tender submission you can use to address your USP:
The price of the tender is usually only part of the tender assessment criteria. In most government organisations, they must be fair to taxpayers and select the bid that ensures the best' value for money'. However, merely submitting a low-price tender will not guarantee that you will secure the contract. Knowing why your product or services is valuable can help you determine an appropriate price compared to your competition.
Products and Services
A tender request outlines the goods or services to be provided. You need to ask yourself, "How can I differentiate my product offering from competitors?" For example, you may be able to supply the product with a higher quality of service than your competitors. Perhaps this is because you can deliver your services ahead of others, or you use technology that other's do not. These are all crucial points to consider when developing your USP.
In the current unpredictable environment, your business's location can be a beneficial aspect of supporting your USP. For example, your competitive advantage could be that your products or services are sourced locally and that you can deliver at short notice.
One of the key features you can highlight in your submission is having a well-equipped team to deliver the tender scope. Having an experienced and skilled team can help your business shine and can be a very effective USP. Providing copies of the proposed teams' resumes in your tender response can help support this message. Do make sure all resumes are formatted in a company style to ensure you look professional and cohesive.
Proven previous track record
Being able to demonstrate a successful track record of delivery and having a line of robust customer references can help build the buyer's confidence and mitigate any perception of risk attached to your tender response.
Process and Standards
When responding to large government or public organisations, the tender process may require the candidates to have relevant and quality standards/accreditations. For example, your business may need to have environmental standards and ISO accreditations. Highlighting the appropriate processes and standards you have in place for your business can also boost your buyer organisation's confidence.
To make your tender response stand out, ensure to highlight the 'wow' factor of your business. Your USP could be your business expertise, the additional services you offer, the innovative way you deliver the goods/services, or your exceptional customer relations team. If you are new to tenders or just need to brush up on your tendering knowledge, be sure to download our Introduction to Tendering eBook. The eBook highlights details on how to respond to tenders and more.