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Demonstrating Emotion in Tender Writing, to build connections and inspire action

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If you’re feeling unsure about all things tenders, it might be worth considering some tender training or an online course.

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And don’t forget about our closed Facebook group The Tender Hub – learn more.

Kristine Daw is the Managing Director of Dawtek, a Melbourne-based company specialising in tenders and proposals, tender training, copywriting, editing and creating business templates. Kristine and her small team have a range of clients including small businesses, multi-national corporations, all levels of government and not-for-profits.

1300 DAWTEK or dawtek.com.au

In the competitive world of tender writing, where tenders are often evaluated based on capability, experience and pricing, it’s easy to overlook the power of emotion. 

After 24 years of writing tenders, I have learned that emotion can play a crucial role in decision-making. It can influence how people perceive information and ultimately guide their actions. 

Writing tenders is very much about writing a persuasive story. Using emotions can make tender responses more compelling and memorable, fostering a deeper connection with evaluators and driving desired outcomes.

Understanding the Emotional Landscape

Before delving into how to harness emotion in tender writing, it’s essential to understand the emotional landscape of the evaluation process. Like anyone else, evaluators are human beings with thoughts, feelings, and biases. While they may be tasked with assessing proposals based on objective criteria, their decisions are often influenced by subjective factors, including their emotions.

Research has identified several key emotions that are significant in decision-making, such as trust, hope, fear, excitement, and empathy. Tender writers can tailor their responses to resonate more deeply by understanding these emotions and how they influence evaluators.

The Power of Storytelling

One of the most effective ways to evoke emotion in tender writing is through storytelling. Humans are wired to respond to stories as they engage our emotions, capture our attention, and make information more relatable and memorable. Incorporating narratives into tender responses can help build a connection with evaluators and bring the proposal to life in a way that raw data and technical specifications cannot.

For example, instead of simply listing qualifications and past achievements, a tender response could include a compelling story about how the company overcame challenges to deliver exceptional results for a client. Including testimonials or other supporting information can add significant value. By sharing the journey, struggles, and triumphs, the proposal becomes more than just a document – it becomes a narrative that resonates with evaluators on an emotional level.

Building Trust and Credibility

Emotion can also play a crucial role in building trust and credibility, which are essential components of a successful tender response. When evaluators feel a sense of trust and connection with the bidder, they are more likely to view the proposal favourably and give it serious consideration.

One way to build trust and credibility is by showcasing the company’s values, mission, and commitment to excellence. By highlighting the company’s dedication to customer satisfaction, quality craftsmanship, and ethical business practices, the tender response can instil confidence in evaluators and differentiate the bidder from competitors.

Another way to build trust is to include pictures of your key people for this project. Pictures of people add a human touch to the tender response, making it more relatable and engaging for evaluators. Seeing faces and expressions can help evaluators connect with the proposal personally, fostering empathy and understanding.

Appealing to Aspirations and Values

Emotionally resonant tender responses also appeal to evaluators’ aspirations and values. By aligning the proposal with the values and goals of the evaluating organisation, tender writers can tap into the emotions of hope, optimism, and shared purpose.

For example, if the evaluating organisation prioritises sustainability and environmental stewardship, a tender response could emphasise the bidder’s commitment to green practices, renewable energy, and carbon emissions reduction. By appealing to the evaluator’s values and aspirations for a better future, the proposal becomes more than just a business transaction—it becomes a shared vision for positive change.

Evoking Empathy and Understanding

Empathy is another powerful emotion that can be leveraged in tender writing to foster a deeper connection with evaluators. Tender writers can evoke empathy and create a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding by demonstrating an understanding of the evaluating organisation’s challenges, needs, and concerns.

For example, if the evaluating organisation faces budget or resource limitations, a tender response could acknowledge these challenges and propose creative solutions to address them. By showing empathy and offering practical assistance, the bidder can position themselves as a trusted partner rather than just another subcontractor.

Crafting Compelling Calls to Action

Finally, emotion plays a crucial role in crafting compelling calls to action that inspire evaluators to take the desired action – whether it’s awarding the contract, scheduling a meeting, or requesting additional information. By tapping into emotions such as urgency, excitement, and anticipation, tender writers can motivate evaluators to move forward with the proposal.

For example, instead of simply requesting a meeting to discuss the proposal further, a tender response could frame the call to action as an opportunity to embark on an exciting partnership that will drive mutual success. By painting a vivid picture of the future possibilities and benefits, the proposal can create a sense of excitement and anticipation that motivates evaluators to take action.

Emotion plays a crucial role in tender writing, shaping how evaluators perceive and respond to proposals. By tapping into emotions such as trust, hope, empathy, and excitement, tender writers can build deeper connections with evaluators, differentiate their proposals from competitors, and drive desired outcomes. 

Whether through storytelling, building trust and credibility, appealing to aspirations and values, evoking empathy and understanding, or crafting compelling calls to action, emotion is a powerful tool that should not be overlooked in the tender writing process. By harnessing the power of emotion, businesses can create tender responses that resonate on a deeper level and ultimately increase their chances of success.

Kristine Daw is the Managing Director of Dawtek, a Melbourne-based company specialising in tenders and proposals, technical writing, business documentation, copywriting, editing and creating business templates. Kristine and her small team have a range of clients including small businesses, multi-national corporations, all levels of government and not-for-profits. 1300 DAWTEK or dawtek.com.au

If you’d like to connect with a tender writing professional with almost two decades’ worth of experience, let’s organise a time to chat.

I’m also on social media so I’d love to connect with you via our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.  And don’t forget about our closed Facebook group The Tender Hub – learn more.