6 Tips to Effectively Respond to an RFP

An RFP response is your opportunity to showcase your services and explain why you’re the right team for the job. However, responding to RFPs is not always smooth and easy, especially when the client is unclear about their needs, their expectations, and the problems they want to address.

In this article, we will explore practical tips to simplify the RFP response process and help you craft a winning proposal each time:

1. Understand the Client’s Needs

No RFP is built the same, so it’s important to review the scope of the project, the expected completion date, selection criteria, contact persons, and so on. If you have any clarifications, be sure to ask the client from the get-go to eliminate potential roadblocks when drafting the proposal.

Your RFP response should be clear, informative, and direct to the point. Include detailed descriptions of how you plan to achieve the client’s goals. The focus should be on the client’s needs instead of your personal experience.

Social proof is also helpful for highlighting your team’s capabilities. For example, if you have case studies and portfolios that align with what the client is looking for, include them in your proposal.

2.  Avoid Vague Phrasing

When responding to RFPs, avoid vague sentences that will leave the client more room for questions than answers:

Our company has the experience and knowledge to help companies like yours achieve their goals.

Instead, aim for phrasing that directly speaks to the client’s objectives:
Our company has over 20 years of experience helping brands achieve [Client Need 1], [Client Need 2], and [Client Need 3].

3. Deliver Your Response Promptly

Keep in mind that you are likely not the only one who received the RFP. It’s essential to respond quickly and efficiently before another contractor beats you to it. Most clients are also on a strict timeline, and waiting to respond until the last minute may not give them ample time to evaluate your proposal.

If you don’t intend to submit a response, politely decline with a no-bid response and notify the client of your intention to be still included in their future RFP rollouts.

4. Proofread Your Response for Typos and Formatting Errors

The RFP response process can be hectic, and sometimes simple errors like misplaced punctuations and incorrect spellings are overlooked. The easiest solution is to use free online text editors to check for typographical and formatting errors. But, if you have the resources, it helps to hire an editor who can provide useful feedback on your proposal.

5. Know Who to Send Your Proposal To

Often, RFP requests are drafted by employees who are not involved in the final decision-making process. Avoid delays in the RFP process by making sure that you send your proposal to the right point of contact. The POC should be stated in the document. If it isn’t, you can ask the sender.

6. Get Expert Opinions from SMEs

When drafting complex proposals, hiring subject matter experts can help create accurate responses. They can assist with research and provide useful feedback on refining your proposal to better adhere to the client’s goals.
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