How to Write a Solicitation to Bid Letter

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Use your solicitation letter to provide potential bidders an overview of your needs, requirements and timeline.
Use your solicitation letter to provide potential bidders an overview of your needs, requirements and timeline. (Image: woman hands typing on laptop keyboard image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

A bid solicitation letter will introduce you as the bid’s originator and invite potential responders to learn more. The letter will summarize and transmit the materials and directions necessary to respond to your invitation to bid. You’ll tell your readers who you are, what you are seeking and how you will answer bidders’ questions. They’ll discover how you’d like to receive bids and what is your timeline. While bid solicitation letters often adopt at-a-glance, tabular and memo formats, you can use a formal letter to present an executive summary of your bidding process and highlight its key points.

Invite readers to submit bid proposals that comply with your attached bid documents. Your bid documents may contain a description of the evaluation process and bidder instructions specifying the format and substance of the material to be submitted. They might also include the terms and conditions that bidders should expect in a contract, as well as a detailed description or specifications of the services or goods you are soliciting. For your readers’ guidance, provide a bulleted list of the bid documents that you have attached to your letter.

Identify yourself as the bid solicitor. Briefly introduce your business with an overview of your mission statement, location and website. Provide also the name and contact information of the reader’s point of contact for all matters related to the bid solicitation. This may be you or someone else you to whom you have delegated management of the bidding process.

Describe the endeavor for which you are soliciting bids. Offer such particulars as the undertaking’s location, budget, scope and size. Discuss how the endeavor fits within your big-picture goals and objectives.

Present your schedule for the entire bidding process. Indicate your deadlines and locations for receiving letters of intent, questions and bid proposals. Point out the dates of any planned bid-related events, such as a pre-bid meeting, bid opening and public shortlist, selection or award meetings.

Refer readers to your attached bidder instructions for detailed directions on what to submit and in what format. Emphasize paying close attention to prescribed formats and requirements, and mention the possibility of bid disqualification in case of non-compliance. Clearly state the basis or criteria for the award of the bid, and any other information you would like to highlight, such as the number of copies required, and how bids should be sealed, packaged and labeled.

Repeat your invitation to bid, and then thank the reader for his interest. Formally close the letter and then sign your name and title.

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