Winning More RFPs: Mastering Your Request for Proposal Response

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Congratulations! You’ve received a request for proposal (RFP) from a client! Needless to say, there’s nothing more exciting than connecting with someone who wants to work with you. They fill you with a lot of excitement and much-needed motivation

What is an RFP Response?

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Fully known as Requests for Proposal, RFPs are especially common for those working in the B2B sector. For instance, a contractor’s request for proposal will highlight everything you need to know including a client’s needs, estimated budget, time frame and other important details of a project.

Typically, think of a request for proposal as a comprehensive project breakdown of sorts that will outline how a project will be tackled and answer all of the client’s questions. 

In turn, the client will do the following: 

  • Go through all responses and narrow them down to the experts they are interested in 
  • Decide whether they will follow back with additional questions 
  • Ask finalists to submit a final proposal for consideration if needed 

But things aren’t final yet, until you secure a contract and submit a statement of work template. Thus, you need to figure out the right RFP response. A compelling response will always stand out and let your clients know that you’re the man for the job. So how should you go about your responses?   

Whether you’re landing more contracts or are just looking to gain knowledge on the process, here are a few tips that will help you master your request for proposal response:

  •  Ensure your response is worthy 

As with any other potential job opportunity, you’ll get excited when you receive an RFP from that client you’re eyeing. Don’t respond immediately. Take time to evaluate the opportunity before sending aj response.

When you do, keep an eye out for common red flags that may not work in your favor like working as an unsolicited company, not having existing relationships at the client’s company and an overly detailed and demanding RFP. This will let you know whether you would meet the stated requirements. 

  • Be clear

Understand exactly what the RFP says and be clear on what your client needs. Don’t skim or do a quick browse through the document as you could miss the most important details. 

Be keen enough to review all listed components one by one and note them down as a checklist to see if they will work in your favor. 

  • Include the right sections

All RFP responses will be different. Therefore, you should consider the basis of your response in your letter. For the best response, include the following information: 

  • All your company important information 
  • A reiteration of the client’s problem and the solutions you have in mind 
  • What makes you an outstanding candidate 
  • The ideas that you have 
  • Relevant references and testimonials 
  • Price strategically
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The key is to be transparent in your pricing. But don’t section everything apart. It’s best to group all costs together while breaking them down and leaving a price point for negotiation. You never know what the client will come back with, so honesty and consideration are the two best policies. 

Also quote your highest price and don’t worry about what other applicants will charge. If you quote low and the client comes back with a counter offer, it may be difficult to negotiate it. 

You’re the only one that knows your business best and understands the quality of services that you’re offering. Showcase a reasonable price and why it goes hand in hand with your proven skills. 

  • Don’t skimp on previous success 

Even if you’re a renowned service provider, assume that the client has never come across any of your work before. As such, you’ll need to prove that you can get the project(s) done. 

One section of your RFP responses should be solely dedicated to a story you’re proud of. Just be sure that it’s relevant to the potential project you’ll be working on. Ask for testimonials from your previous clients as this will add more value to your response. 

The Bottom Line

There you go! The right tips that will help you master your request for proposal responses. The reality is that RFPs are part of running a successful business. There’s no way around them. So the easier you can master your responses, the more qualified you will be in the long run.

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