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Mastering the Art of Bid Writing: Practical Dos and Don’ts

While the introduction of the Provider Selection Regime means that processes are changing, bidding, and by extension competition, still play an important part in generating transformation and innovation in the health and care sector.

Successful bid writing is an art that requires a blend of technical knowledge, persuasive skills, and strategic thinking.  Here are some practical dos and don’ts, offering wisdom that could make the difference between a winning and losing bid.


Understand Your Audience

Before even putting pen to paper, it’s crucial to understand your audience, i.e., the evaluators of your bid. What are their needs? What challenges are they facing? Tailor your bid to address these points directly.

Highlight Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

What makes your offering stand out from the competition? Whether it’s deep local knowledge, superior quality, lower cost, or innovative solutions.  Capture each of these and ensure they are clearly articulated in your bid.

Understand your service model

When it’s something you do day in, day out, it can be difficult to explain what you do.  Spend time up front mapping out what you do – the stages and steps involved.

Be Clear and Concise

Brevity is essential in bid writing. Avoid jargon and keep your language clear and straightforward.

Provide Evidence

Back up your claims with hard evidence. This could be in the form of case studies, testimonials, data – or ideally a combination of all three. It strengthens your credibility and makes your proposal more convincing.

Review and Refine

Never submit your first draft. Always review your bid multiple times, refining it for clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness.


Don’t Overpromise

While it’s essential to sell your offering, avoid making promises that you can’t deliver. Overpromising can lead to a loss of credibility and potential contractual issues down the line.

Don’t Ignore the Requirements

Every bid has a list of specific requirements. Ignoring these is a sure-fire way to have your bid discarded. Make sure you address each one in your proposal.

Don’t Use a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Each bid is unique, and using a generic template will not set you apart from the competition. Tailor your proposal to each specific bid.

Don’t Forget to Review and Proofread

While it may make sense to you, it may not do so to an external eye. Typos, grammatical errors, and incorrect information can ruin your bid’s chances. Always proofread your work, or better yet, have someone else do it for you.

Don’t Neglect the Design

A well-designed bid is easier to read and leaves a better impression. Use clear headings, bullet points, and infographics to make your bid visually appealing and easy to understand.

Bid writing is a complex task that requires a strategic approach, clear understanding of the client’s needs, and exceptional communication skills. By adhering to these dos and don’ts, you can significantly increase your chances of success.

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