In this podcast, we had the opportunity to speak with Jeanne Zwerk from Mint Marketing ©. She’s here to share her experiences with how small businesses can create a winning tender.  Jeanne started Mint Marketing © 18 years ago. She and her team specialise in branding and bids, which is a bit of an unusual combination, but she finds that they bring something special in this area. Over the 10 years, they probably won about 21 billion dollars worth of infrastructure tenders!

Winning Tenders is Writing Skills

Winning tenders is about writing paired with strategic thinking down to meticulous answering of questions. Bringing these two together creates a fantastic tender. Now with the audience, the listeners who are on the show, they are small businesses, part of the reason they are on the show is wanting to learn how to attract corporate clients. Here are the four phases of writing winning tenders for your small business.


The preparation phase is imperative.  This phase is about knowing your audience. So you need to know your client, what makes them tick, what’s crucial to them, what problems you’re going to solve. You also need to be prepared. So it’s like making sure your pantry stocked with the right ingredients (information). You have to make sure you’ve got your surveys up to date, your policies, all those things you know they’re going to ask. So you’re not scrapping around in the last 48 hours trying to make this stuff up.


Once you’ve prepared the tender lands, then it’s about making it so making it is following the recipe. Also, we relate that to answering the questions that the client asks. You’ve got to make sure you follow it step by step and don’t veer off on a tangent because you won’t score the marks that they allocate. So when you finish that, you’re ready to go back which is excellent. This way you can cover all parts of your tender meticulously—call them gold nuggets of tips on how to do the preparation and the making.


This is the time that you can go and relax, take a step away. However, like any good cook, you have to check on that cake from time to time. You can’t just hope that forty-five minutes later, there’s a perfect cake. Winning tenders take longer. If you’re not checking, the chances are you’ll burn or have a flop. Just in the same way. This is the time to check on your tender, have a review, see if someone internally in your company or a trusted confidant can review your tender, and see it with fresh eyes because this is where the value adds comes in. This gives you the perspective of what’s being missed and what’s not being cleared. The more time you allow, the better value adds the bit intensity you’re going to get.


How are you going to make your cake stand out from the rest? On writing tenders, that’s the value add. That’s where you align your tend to what you know your client likes. Even though it’s a tender process and it’s part of the governance of their procurement process, you are still ultimately dealing with people, and every business, have pain points that need to be addressed. Moreover, those points relate to emotions. So part of your decoration is to touch those pain points and to show that you’re a solution. That’s where you stand out from all of the other tenders!

Small businesses need to know that they have a real shot at this. Once you understand the methodical approach of completing the tender process, then that’s something that you should go for. It takes much time and much investment; however, winning the tender could be a significant boost to your business if you get that right.

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