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Answering the Client’s Questions

Question by: Donovan Gosher

What is the best way to ensure we answer all elements of a client’s questions in PQQs and tender responses to attract the highest scores possible?


Hi Donovan and thank you for your question.

The “best way” to fully answer a client’s questions to achieve the highest scores is actually a combination of things.

First and foremost is thoroughly reading all the documents sent by the client – not just the questions themselves. They are telling you their story in those documents, in the same way your company will tell them your story in your response. Of course you will find details about the opportunity but you’ll also find out about their values and expectations of the service they’re buying. Knowing more about who they are, what they want and the detail of their scoring criteria will help you tailor your answers to their requirements.

Second, it is vital to deconstruct each question into its component parts. Response documents may have only five or six questions overall but closer inspection often reveals sub-questions lurking within. Key words to look out for include how, when, demonstrate, evidence, detail, confirm, etc. Treat these sub-questions individually to be sure you’ve answered every element.

Third, follow the rules. Stick to whatever word or page count they require, use the correct font, etc. While it’s rare to see this as a specified parameter of the scoring criteria, clients do tend to mark down for failures in this area.

Finally, it can be very helpful to have your final response reviewed by a colleague in another team or department who isn’t familiar with the service you’re offering. Having an outside perspective can highlight areas which need clarification or where you have perhaps missed the mark between the question and your answer.

Please get in touch if I can provide any further information.