When You Don't Know How to Answer a Question
Don't freak out. There is a way to answer questions you don't really have an answer to.

It’s 9pm the night before your tender is due, you’re 7 coffees down and you are being taunted by a question you literally just don’t have an answer to.

Perhaps you’ve been asked to talk about a policy or procedure your organisation simply doesn’t have, or maybe you need to comment on an initiative you don’t do or provide a qualification that you don’t hold.

Take a breath, this is normal.

You are not expected to have the world’s most compliant answer for every single question. But there is a right and wrong way to go about answering. Let’s explore:

Instead of:

1. Lying

2. Death by 1000 words

3. Not answering and pretending the question doesn’t exist

Try:

1. Honesty: “Our business has not yet developed this policy, though we recognise its relevance both in our industry and within this scope of work”

2. Exploring Alternatives: “Although we don’t have a written policy, in practice we address this item by xyz”

3. Committing to a solution: “We are currently developing this policy in line with our operating model and commit having it implemented prior to tender award/mobilisation/whenever”

Remember, buyers are smart, directness and honesty is always best.

Happy Bidding!

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