You probably think that very little of what you learned in school can be directly applied to the tendering process and, for the most part, you’d be right.
However, there is one pertinent thing your Leaving Cert English teacher will have repeated again and again in your final months of school that should not be forgotten – answer the question you are asked.
Differentiating your tender application
In the tendering process, the questions are phrased in a deliberate way, so you must ensure your answer is relevant.
You will have a list of all the points you want to make to differentiate yourself and ensure you stand out from the crowd, but you have to be clever in how you go about this.
In the Leaving Cert, you can’t just regurgitate the spiel you learned about Seamus Heaney’s use of imagery in ‘Digging’ if that is not what the question requires.
If you have points to make about that particular poem, there are ways to work them in, but you have to be smart in how you go about it.
The same is true for a tender application – you can slap down all the info you want to show why you are the best person for the job, but unless they are relevant and in the right places, your bid will be dismissed.
Quite often, the questions will give you scope to blow your own trumpet. However, it is important to emphasize not only how impressive you are, but specifically why you are the best person for this particular tender.
Answering the questions you are being asked
As Star Procurement notes: “Give the customer what they want, not what you want to provide.” The old adage about politicians answering the question they wished they were asked will not cut it here.
The other important thing to note with the questions is that you answer every part thoroughly. If there are two aspects to what is being asked, address them both properly and don’t give a full answer to one and a passing reference to the other – you’ll be penalised for this.
In seeking to win a tender, you must not only be impressive in your own right, you must also beat the competition. That is why it is so crucial that you tick every box and answer the questions directly.
There will be scope to show why you are the best match for the tender, but you have to be smart and patient to figure out the best way to subtly ease this information in.
So while you might have felt there was nothing to be gained from that Leaving Cert English class, there was one crucial nugget in there that can help you win the next tender you go for.