Invest just 2 minutes in reading this short article and you’ll produce a much stronger, more compelling and more persuasive tender. Importantly, you’ll have a better chance at WINNING THE BID.
Ok, so what I did there was present to you the benefits of reading this article. If you’ve spent much time doing tenders, you’ve probably heard about features and benefits before, and maybe even that we need to do something called ‘converting features to benefits’. Let me explain why this is so important.
- Features are the facts and details of a product or service. Number of seats, width of doors, type of bogie, planned maintenance cycle…
- Benefits, on the other hand, are the client-focussed results and outcomes of the product or service. Increase in capacity, number of passengers who can travel comfortably, ability for lots of passengers to board quickly, whole-of-life savings, improved reliability, increased availability… (You can have multiple benefits for each feature.)
The danger in tender writing is that we can easily go to great detail about the features of our product or service and neglect to explain the benefits. This is a big problem because it puts the burden of understanding on the reader. And unfortunately, if the reader is left to connect the dots between the features you’ve listed and how it will benefit them, they may draw the wrong conclusion or miss the point.
Don’t forget: your reader will be reading reams and reams of information, from 3 or 4 different bidders. They will be tired and possibly bored. The last thing we want to do is to make it harder for them to understand the advantages and benefits of our offer. When we write with benefits, we make it easy for them. And that makes them like us more.
The good news is that it is really easy to convert features to benefits. Just ask ‘So what?’ eg “We have xx seats in each car.” So what? “We can comfortably seat 5% more passengers and meet the State’s forecasts for patronage.”
If the ‘So what?’ trick doesn’t work for you, another way to find your benefits is to outline your rationale. After all, I doubt many of our product or service features have been plucked out of the air without careful consideration. Right? Exactly! So, think about the rationale of why you chose certain product or service features. If you think through your rationale, it will almost certainly unveil the benefits of your approach.
So, get cracking and make sure you are thinking through all the benefits of your solution. If you need help, make sure you speak with your writer.
Have fun and good luck!