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Tender FAQ: can I submit an alternative pricing structure?

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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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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

Now that you’re well and truly back into the hustle and bustle of business life, you may be considering dipping your toe into the wonderful world of tenders. If you’re new to tenders, it can be difficult to get your head around all of the ins and outs and you may have more questions than answers to begin with.

Full disclosure: I love tenders, both great and small. I have a knack for translating complex ideas into something that people can understand easily. One of the most common questions I’m asked is this one: can I submit an alternative pricing structure?

The great news is that yes, you can but the answer isn’t quite that simple. Whenever you do submit an alternative pricing structure, you should always provide a compliance pricing response. So let’s take this extension of my original answer right back to its bare bones.

alternative pricing structure

What is a compliant pricing response?

A compliant pricing response relates to doing exactly what the tender schedules or specifications outline. I’ve seen a lot of things in almost two decades in the tender writing business and often, pricing schedules are templates but they’re not really applicable to the services in question. So I highly recommend that you complete the requested pricing information in the tender (I have to emphasise those words I’ve bolded out because that step can be a make or break for any tender application). In addition to the pricing information, you can then provide an alternative pricing schedule that is more applicable to the products or services. Alternatives focus more on the actuals of how the billing is done and can provide savings.

It’s all well and good to provide an alternative pricing structure but it’s essential that within your tender application, you show why your proposed alternative is the better option and what savings or outcomes the client stands to receive by following your advice.

If you’re going down the path of completing your own tender, I advise you to get a second or third set of eyes looking over your entire application and especially the section in relation to why this alternative pricing structure better suits the client’s needs. Whatever feedback comes your way, ensure you listen and remember: while you understand the ins and outs of your proposal and why you’re suggesting what you are, others don’t. If people aren’t easily comprehending the benefits of your alternative pricing structure, it’s likely time to go back to the drawing board and to seriously consider seeking out a professional to help you to gain clarity.

Clients enjoy having options that are beneficial to their business so presenting them with alternatives can be very beneficial. The trick is to ensure that your messaging is effective and that your tender submission sees your brand standing out from the pack.

Looking ahead in 2018 and wanting to explore how becoming active with tenders can maximise your business’ bottom line? I’ve started a tender hub closed Facebook group where you can gain unlimited access to tender information and resources. Our community of like-minded members connect with others, ask questions and ensure that they’re in the know with all of the latest tender-related updates.

On the other hand, if you’ve tried putting your hat forward for various tender submission processes and are feeling a little frustrated, my tender ecourse can help you to start winning tenders. I cover six modules in the course that walk you through the entire tender process. Click here to read more.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, let’s chat. You can contact me directly online.