This Guest paper was submitted for publication 4/27/13 and is copyright to David Harrison, © 2013.
This paper is an update of a paper originally published in 2008.
Published here December 2013.

PQQ = PreQualification
ITT = Invitation To
RFP = Request For

PART 2 | Introduction | Strategies and Tactics | Evidence
Content and Presentation | Post-tender Interviews | Summary


What are the causes?

There are many factors that cause bidders to make mistakes. This is not an exhaustive list but includes most of the more common causes:

  1. Ineffective business development, capture and bidding system.
  2. No bid-no bid process.
  3. Not being selective and investing enough time in gathering vital intelligence.
  4. "Busy fools".
  5. Lack of preparation and planning.
  6. Poor win strategies.
  7. Under resourcing.
  8. Poor teamwork and commitment.
  9. Lack of ideas, innovation and creativity (same old, same old).
  10. Not knowing what "excellent" looks like.
  11. Ineffective review process.
  12. Inexperience and misunderstanding.
  13. Poor writing, presentation and interview skills.
  14. Insufficient evidence.

What can you do?

So what can you do to improve your chances of success? Again this is not an exhaustive list but if you take these actions you will definitely get better results:

  1. Cut out the mistakes.
  2. Improve knowledge and obtain training to develop understanding and skills.
  3. Obtain guidance and advice to create a clear understanding of how you can improve your performance and create competitive advantage and then take whatever action is necessary to ensure that you are "match fit" for future opportunities.
  4. Improve your business development, capture and bidding system.
  5. Focus on realistic targets: ones you have a great chance of winning.
  6. Gather intelligence on your customer, their procurement process, the project opportunity and your competitors.
  7. Get closer to your customers and position your organization favorably before the tender is issued.
  8. Plan your win strategies, tactics and approach preferably before the invitation to tender or request for proposal arrives. Ask for a second opinion to make sure you have not missed any opportunities to gain an advantage.
  9. Obtain a second opinion on the interpretation of the customer's requirements, instructions and questions as soon as the tender arrives.
  10. Create a tender outline and content plan that includes instructions to the bid team on everything you need to score maximum scores for each section or question.
  11. Review and validate your content plan before you start writing.
  12. Hire in expertise to write and/or manage your bids if you do not possess the right skills and experience.
  13. Get someone to provide an independent critique of your draft submissions in good time before you submit your bid.
  14. Invest time and money to get the presentation of your bid documentation right and plan for this from day one!

Our Elite Bidders System

Preparing pre-qualification questionnaires, tenders and proposal can be very expensive and make up a large proportion of your overhead expenditure. So please.... promise me.... don't pour good money down the drain. You just need a simple repeatable process to follow to dramatically improve your conversion rates and chances of success.

Suppose there was a system that takes every scrap of guesswork out of the process. An easy to follow and proven system that allows you to:

  • Write better quality submissions and faster
  • Create more powerful presentations
  • Multiply your conversion rates at pre-qualification and tender stages
  • Know exactly what to say for each question
  • Completely stand out in your market
  • Create a trusting relationship with your prospective customers
  • Grow your business significantly
  • And much more

Well, we believe that we have this system in place already. We call it our Elite Bidders System. It has been road tested and improved to deliver spectacular results consistently, year after year. Over a ten-year period our success rates are 95% for PQQs and 66% for tenders and proposals.

I genuinely hope that you have found the contents of this special report of value and if you have then I would be really grateful if you would do two favors for me in return:

  1. Send an email to to tell me the biggest challenges or obstacles that you are facing when bidding for contracts and give me some feedback on what you thought of the report and how you will use the ideas presented.
  2. Recommend the report to colleagues and connections by email or on your social media networks by sending them a link to the download page on our website so that they can sign up for their copy too. The link is

David Harrison.

Post-tender Interviews  Post-tender Interviews

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