Skip to main content


It can be wearing when enthusiasm fails and you only see the problems in a bid. When the parameters, pressures and requirements expressed in the tender seem a massive problem, with a focus only on price. It can feel like being in a tunnel rather than a creative, exploratory, innovative approach to improvement.

And yet, as an experienced Bid Director, you know the answer is there. You accept it can be hard to see. You know it can feel a long time, waiting for it all to come together. Even if not asked, you pay attention to the bigger picture, the dimensions of value add and risk, as well as price in the here and now. You find the sweetspot, where your team creates the “Yes” which will win the bid, where you all feel satisfied with the quality of the solution.

Here are some things I have noticed from my twenty years’ experience of working with sales, tender and bid teams about what you do:

  • You use your own experience. You have done this enough times before to trust the “Eureka” feeling and know you will recognise it in a bid when it does arrive;
  • You ask your team for more, demanding higher quality, standards and performance until the “Eureka” moment has emerged;
  • You hold your own authority, energising the team and directing the journey to find and create the “Yes” within the context of the “No”.

In the envelope of “No”, when the parameters, the deadlines and the constraints all feel so heavy, it is difficult, but you know through instinct and experience there is always a “Yes” to be found. You know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Once in the light, you encourage your team to write and communicate the solution in an exceptionally clear way for your client, paving the way to review, refinement and and the bid outcome you all want and deserve.


Gill How has over twenty years experience of supporting bid, tender, sales, project and leadership teams – helping them be at their best everyday. If you would like an exploratory conversation to see how she can help you meet your goals, contact her here.


Footnote: This blog was inspired by Gill attending an improvisation workshop with Pippa Evans. Within the exercises of “Yes, and…”and “Yes, but…” Gill was able to experience the “No” implicit in the “Yes, but” not as limiting, just as something to be understood and worked with. Liberating, life changing and a lot of fun – you can find more about improvisation and Pippa’s work here.

Gill How

Helping leaders grow, step up and deliver outstanding results

Leave a Reply