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Unique Selling Propositions and Win Themes – What are they and how do I develop them?

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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

Tendering is one of the most competitive fields out there, and tender writing is by its very nature a complex process, which involves using engaging language, clear and concise arguments and logical statements to effect an overall compliant offer to the client.

The evaluators already anticipate that as you have submitted a tender response, you can do everything asked of you. If you can’t, why would you be tendering in the first place? This means that of all the tenders which land on the desk of the evaluator, there needs to be one which ‘ahead of the rest and offers something above and beyond what has been asked for.

This is where your unique selling proposition and win themes come into play.


Unique Selling Proposition

You’re going to be competing against numerous businesses in any tender process. You should have a solid grasp on why your business is the right candidate for the tender and what makes your offer better than your competitors.

Firstly, you need to define your focus. It’s critical that you identify what makes you and your business different. You need to:

  • Identify the key differentiators for your business. In traditional terms – what is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
  • In a world where uniqueness has become rare, yet is spoken about regularly, think of your USPs as the finer aspects, or emotional selling points (ESP) that separate you from the competition.

You’ll face a lot of strong compétition, especially in sectors such as cleaning and security. Identifying what sets you apart from everyone else is key, and is often overlooked by businesses when submitting a tender.

You need your tender to stand out from your competitors in order to win. Your company may be more sustainable, more customer-oriented, more well-known, cheaper, more innovative or simply more reliable than your competitors. What is it about your individual organisation that marks you out as being something special? Why should an evaluator choose you, ahead of the twenty other compliant bids?

Working this out and weaving this through your tender response is critical to your success. In the bidding world, the chances are that each company proposing a solution is equally compliant, and not dissimilar in pricing. What, then, are you going to focus upon to set you apart? Work this out, and you are suddenly in the front position for winning your bid, ahead of your competitors.

Win Themes

Consider your win themes to be a series of marketing statements that should run through your tender response. Don’t worry that they are being repeated, the whole idea is that the message needs to sink in to the evaluator.

A win theme:

  • Is a specific, tactical message that supports your overall strategy
  • Provides you with an opportunity for substantiation and specificity.
  • Provides cohesion to tender, unifying the message and lifting it from being merely information in response to a request, to a being a highly persuasive presentation of a business case.

When defining your win theme(s), it’s important to consider the following:

  • How can you best demonstrate that you meet and exceed all the tender requirements?
  • How is your offering different, and how does it offer more value than those of your competitors?
  • What is important to the client and how can you meet (and exceed) those requirements?
  • How will you add value in servicing the contract?
  • Why is your price competitive (or, where price can’t be the most competitive, why is it worth spending a little more)?

Compelling win themes are customer-focused and must benefit the client. Win themes are the messengers that promote the value of your solution. Because win themes speak to the value of your solution, they turn compliant proposals into compelling ones. They make it easy for evaluators to express why they prefer your company and your solution

So when you mention your win theme, you must provide some supporting evidence of your ability to deliver.

If winning work through tenders is important to your business, in order to win, grow and retain clients, you are not being competitive if you consistently under-resource your tender submissions. Spending time and effort planning you response will increase your chances of securing that new contract.

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.

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