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​​What to include in your response

​Demonstrate that you understand the buyer and the problem they're trying to solve, and that you have the right experience to help them solve it.

Get the basics right

Follow the RFx layout and order

  • Answer the questions in the same order and with the same numbering system as in the RFx. If you have space, include the questions themselves to keep you on track and help the evaluator.
  • Follow the RFx instructions regarding formatting - for example, if they ask you to use a table, use a table.
  • Make sure your headings are the same as those in the RFx.
  • Cross-check that all of the evaluation criteria are covered in your answers to the questions.

Answer the questions and reflect the requirements

  • Read each question carefully.
  • Sometimes a question contains several parts - make sure you answer each part of the question.
  • Compare the evaluation criteria with the questions - what question relates to what evaluation criteria?
  • If the RFx has a page limit, make sure you stick to it.
  • Answer the pricing question correctly and in the requested format.
  • Make sure you have included all of the mandatory information as well as answering the questions.

Make sure your document is clear and easy to read

Use plain English, keep it succinct, and get someone else to proof-read it. You could get a designer to develop a document template for a more polished presentation, and include graphics and images to break up the text.

Consider including:

  • a covering letter stating your intention to submit a tender
  • table of contents covering the main headings and possibly sub-headings
  • executive summary to establish your position and introduce reasons why you are the best supplier.

Highlight your point of difference

Your competitors may all have similar skills, tools and methods. Know what sets you apart, and clearly communicate it throughout your response.

  • Get the basics right first - answer the questions in the RFX and ensure you show how you meet the evaluation criteria, then look at what extra value you can offer to make you stand out.
  • Sit down with key staff, colleagues and friends and devise a list of unique things your company has or does that may be valued by the buyer. Demonstrate these in the tender.

Show you've got the right experience

The buyer wants proof that you know how to deliver services or supplies to meet their need.

Include examples of relevant experience where you have delivered something similar, and relate it directly to their requirements, in response to questions. Highlight staff expertise that's relevant to the RFx you are responding to.

Your relevant experience examples may also be your referees. Make sure you get their permission and warn them that they may be called.

Weight your answers according to the criteria

Look at the weightings of the evaluation criteria and use this as a guide for what you should be focusing on.