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How to Add Value Without Losing Your Bid

Jack Bolton
Written by
Jack Bolton
Added Value

Adding Value is an absolute must in any tender. However, doing it properly is a very fine line to tread. Striking a balance between adding real value and making unrealistic promises is easier said than done. In this guide, prepare to read the words ‘added value’ a lot, as we show you how to take your tenders to the next level.

Added Value Should Add Value

The whole point of added value is that you add value. While blindingly obvious, it is an important distinction to make.

The core part of your proposal should be aimed at meeting the direct needs of the buyer. Don’t go so far into explaining your added value that you forget to address the buyer’s core requirements. Your added value should not overshadow these requirements, but carefully complement them.

If your added value proposition is not adding real, tangible value to your overall solution, you might as well not include it. Offering services they neither want nor need tells the buyer that you don’t really know them as an organisation and therefore have failed to understand their needs and how to meet them.

If you cannot evidence how and why your added value adds value then the buyer will have reason to believe that it doesn’t. “If you can’t quantify your value don’t be surprised if your customer can’t!” 

Too Much Added Value

Don’t go over the top with your added value. As with the above, make sure everything you offer genuinely adds value, otherwise don’t include it. Your core offering is much more important so don’t overdo it. Adding value cannot win the bid on its own, it can only help take you to the next level.

If you present the Buyer with too much ‘above and beyond’ they will wonder how you can deliver it all without sacrificing on quality or costs. Your core service should be the only thing you price in a tender. The Buyer will not want to pay for anything they didn’t ask for. When choosing what added value to offer, you must therefore consider what extra you can provide without overstretching yourself financially or logistically.

Added Value 3

Not Enough Added Value

On the contrary, not offering enough added value can trigger doubts for the Buyer.

Good value adds show that you have considered the needs of the buyer beyond what is listed in the scope. Offering none at all indicates that you haven’t done your homework and don’t much care about winning.

You should never simply list how you can meet each requirement specified in the scope. Always consider what you can do to supplement the basic service. Differentiate yourself to make your proposal stand out. Simply reeling off the basics will make for a dull, formulaic, lazy-sounding bid that will pale in comparison to your competition.


Consider these two statements. One adds value, the other does not. Can you tell them apart? What makes one better than the other?

Added Value

The answer is pretty obvious when you drill down into it.

Whereas B explains in detail about the time and financial value that their product offers, A does not once stray away from the precise requirements of the specification. Using words such as ‘meet’ and ‘on time’ are clear indicators that you are not going above and beyond. In contrast, words such as ‘save’, ‘more efficiently’ and ‘boost’ demonstrate that your offering improves upon pre-established expectations.

Added Value 2

Again, in this example, we see how one bid seeks to go above and beyond, whereas the other says nothing of worth or value. Whereas C explains how they will ‘exceed’ client requirements at no extra cost, D simply boasts about their ‘pride’ without providing any substantiation for this. Apparently pride does come before a fall.


In conclusion, it is important to strike a balance between adding value to your proposal and diminishing its overall merit by going too far. Essentially, make sure that when your proposal is submitted the Buyer will be left in no doubt that you are the best company for the job. Explain precisely why you are the best. Make yourself stand out. Your win rates will soar.


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