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Why Your Tender Responses Are Failing to Win Contracts – A Conversation with Tim Entwisle

The past week, we attended a panel discussion on business communications in Sydney. Afterwards, we had the chance to converse with Tim Entwisle, Director of Madrigal Communications, a specialist copywriting agency for tenders and major commercial proposals.


With over three decades of experience in the industry, Entwisle is a seasoned expert in communications, infrastructure and project management. He also specialises in tender writing for a wide range of clients, including government organisations, corporate clients, small businesses and more.


Considering the importance of submitting compelling tender responses, we asked Entwisle to share his perspective on why certain tender responses fail to win contracts.


“In theory, writing a tender response seems quite straight forward. A buyer is asking a few questions and you have to address them. How difficult can that be? Well, if you’ve never written a tender response before, it’s not the easiest of tasks”, explains the expert.


He continues, “Often, people try to hurry and put together a tender response at the last second. Even if you make the deadline, you cannot hide the lack of research. You need to set aside time to professionally research and write an impactful tender response.


That being said, don’t assume that a longer tender response is automatically better. Avoid including any irrelevant details and keep it succinct. Especially in case of open tendering, the buyers have to go through several responses and your lengthy response will make their job harder”.


In addition, Entwisle further explains, “Pay attention to your tone. It should be professional but not monotonous. An engaging and active voice will ensure your target audience stays interested”.


He parts with a final message for us, ”Tender writing can be tricky. If you don’t have the experience, it would be best to outsource the job or sign up for a tender writing course”.