Receiving a request for proposal (RFP) can be a great opportunity to grow your business. But for a lot of business owners, RFPs are complicated, overwhelming, and downright terrifying.
An RFP response is like a business proposal in reverse. Instead of soliciting companies with your goods and services or trying to identify a problem and create a solution, the organizations that produce an RFP are already aware that they have a problem, and they are looking for information to determine whether you can fix it and how.
A problem for companies writing an RFP can stem from the company knowing they have a problem but not sure what exactly the problem is or how best to fix it. This is when RFPs can go wrong.
Most RFPs provide all of the information necessary to submit your response. In other words, the RFP is your outline or cheat sheet for how you should write your business proposal. The scary part is writing a paper that must potentially generate a winning RFP response and assist them in hiring the best company for the job. It’s often like speed dating!
In order to succeed, your RFP proposal response should be informative, valuable, and transparent. Do not be pushy or brag too much. Instead, add detailed descriptions of your understanding of the client’s needs and goals and how your methods will help to achieve them.
Remember to focus more on the client’s needs than on your own experience, but do not forget to include some proof that displays your professionalism and ability to solve their particular issues. If you have past projects, case studies, or other powerful examples that align with the metrics and milestones that the document describes, you should definitely include them in your response.
When responding to RFPs, always speak to the specific problems that are explained in the document. Pay attention to the small details and demonstrate your experience by offering solutions that directly address those problems.
Most RFPs are designed as part of a competitive process. You are not the only one who received the request, and you’re unlikely to be the only respondent. Put your best foot forward, confirm that all specifications can be met, and increase your chances of winning by offering examples that resonate with the prospective clients.
Your potential customer is not looking for a sales pitch or a bunch of fluff when they write an RFP. What they are looking for is someone who can help them with a specific project or objective. You can help them by answering all their questions by providing clear answers that are short and to the point. Tell them what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, and why you are a better fit than your competitors. Make sure that the information you provide aligns with their needs.
Other than a polite thank you for their consideration, nothing else is required or typically requested.