Responding to an invitation to tender (ITT) can be a stressful time. It is really important that any help is provided in the right way, and that it reduces the stress rather than adding to it.
Effective interaction between you and the tender consultant will be critical. They must fit in with your ways of working. They need to understand your business and be able to empathise with your situation. In general terms they will take the lead, and they will need to be skilled in doing so. A good strong leadership technique is required, otherwise the process will become bogged down. However, from time to time it will be important for you to take a lead, but in an appropriate way, and as and when relevant. After all, this is your project.
They tender consultant will need extract information from you, and – as with the best dentists – the process must be painless. The tender consultant must work with your timings and your availability. You might find that it works for you to address the tender response outside normal working hours, and they must be available to do likewise. Often a tender response may get finished over a weekend, ready for submission early the following week.
As the tender gets drafted and amended you will have comments to make, and requirements to be incorporated. The tender consultant needs to accept all of this input from you wholeheartedly. On the other side of the coin they must be able to offer advice freely and openly, and accept that it may not be heeded. They must accept your view and any feedback you offer.
Above all, as the tender process progresses they must come up with solutions – not problems. At the end of the process you should feel that you have had a positive experience!