Put the words ‘bid writer’ into any search engine and the chances are you will find people claiming to have incredible win rates.
Just a quick search today found several claiming win rates of over 80%. One even claimed a 100% success rate. With such a record, why would you not employ them to write your bid and guarantee a contract win?
As a professional writer, these sorts of claims make me suspicious – of the writers as individuals, their integrity and their claims. Anyone with that sort of record would not need to advertise – indeed they would be worth more than their weight in gold!
Now of course, such claims may be true. Maybe the writer prepared just one bid in the last month that just happened to be successful. There’s a 100% success record.
Perhaps they only write for clients who are going to win anyway – which prompts the question, why use a writer in the first place? Supporting companies who may not win would damage their all important record.
On the other hand, maybe their claims are not all that they appear to be…
Handing over control?
Anyone who bids regularly will tell you how most tenders are evaluated based on the technical nature of the response (sometimes called the ‘quality score’) and the price. The two scores are put together and a winner then emerges. Writers who therefore claim a 100% bid success rate must by definition have been instrumental in deciding how much their client is going to charge to deliver the service.
Now I don’t know about you, but in our business there are lots of different influences over our costs, which can vary from month to month. Over time, we have got to know what they are and how to account for them when forecasting. We certainly would not trust another professional – however good they are – to tell us how much we should be charging to deliver the service. On the other hand, maybe the writer did not have anything to do with the price – in which case, their claim to have delivered a win for the client is not wholly true.
Humans are humans……
Most bids are marked by people. As people, we all have our views, emotions, and flaws. By our very nature we have bias, whatever we do to try and overcome it. There will therefore always be a subjective element to how bids are evaluated, whatever safeguards buyers try to put in place to keep things objective.
No writer can guarantee what an evaluator will think about you as a company, or how their mood will influence the mark they give your bid.
Equally, writers will not know how your bid compares with your competitors’.
Suggesting a guaranteed win – or a near guarantee – is therefore worthless.
Stick to your expertise
Very occasionally we get enquiries from companies wanting us to tell them how to shape their proposed service so they win a contract. As professional writers, we only have one answer to such requests. We can test their proposed service against the buyer’s requirements, and the evaluation criteria. We can then give them a good indication on whether their service will be compliant or not. However, we cannot tell them how to run the service.
Of course, we can use our experience to help them come up with new ideas. We can facilitate conversations, help them to understand what the buyer is looking for, and maybe help identify that bit of innovation that will improve their score. But at the end of the day, we can only advise so far. We are experts in our service – writing up information clients give us in the right way and presenting it in an engaging way. We know our expertise and, as professionals with integrity, we stick to it.
Finding the right bid writer
Now there is nothing wrong with promoting success. Indeed most businesses do so all the time to market themselves and grow. Sharing win rates may therefore be appropriate on occasion.
So if you are looking for a writer, what can you do to satisfy yourself that they will provide a high quality service and increase your chances of winning?
- Don’t be afraid to ask about win rates. Most writers keep records and will be happy to talk to you about their experience. However, treat those claiming exceptionally high rates with caution. Test their claims.
- Ask lots of questions – look at their experience in the round, the types of bids they have prepared, their understanding of regulation, and how they would approach writing your bid.
- Take up references – any writer with absolute confidence in the quality of their service will be happy to put you in touch with clients. Writers who try and hide behind ‘client confidentiality’ or GDPR should be treated with caution. It’s not difficult to get the right permissions to give you their details.
We hope you have found this article to be helpful. If you are want to know more about successful bidding or just want a no obligation chat about the services we offer, get in touch by calling Sam Nimmo on 01491 902021 or e-mailing us at email@example.com.