Things You Need to Know When Responding to RFPs

Posted by Hridoy Ahmed on December 28th, 2020

If you're used to writing proposals, you already know how to create a proposal to respond to RFPs. But when your organization is offering a grant or looking for contractors to provide services or products, you can also use those skills to create an RFP responseto solicit proposals from others.

The selection process will go much smoother if you provide your potential respondents with a proposed structure and list of information to help them send you detailed, readable proposals.

If you have already responded to an RFP, you know the response process: you read the RFP response, and then select templates you want to use in your proposal, assemble them, and fill them in.

To create an RFP response, simply assemble a list of proposal topics until you have all the information in the order you would like to receive it from the RFP response. One popular technique is to think as the proposal writer and select all of the topics you would include if you were responding to your RFP. This will help you decide what important topics you want responders to tell you about their products, services, and solutions.

You can use the list of chapter titles and some of the information and suggestions on those pages to create an outline for your RFP then fill in the topic pages with the information you are requesting as a series of questions.

Consider carefully all the information you need to receive from respondents so that you can efficiently pick a winner. If the project you are undertaking or the grant you are offering is a reasonably simple one, then you might be able to squeeze all the information you need on a page. But if the project you are considering is complex, you can also use a longer RFP to state the problem you are trying to solve, the need you want to fulfill, or the opportunity to take advantage of; as well as the requirements and schedule for the RFP response.

The more specific and detailed you can be in your RFP response, the more likely you will receive all the information you need to make a good decision. You'll also spend less time on the phone or in email answering questions from respondents about the information you want or asking the respondents for more detail about the proposals they submitted.

Just like with a proposal, you should proofread the RFP to be sure it sounds and looks businesslike and professionally represents you. After you have included all the information you need to tell the world what you're looking for and why then package up the RFP pages in a PDF and send it out or attach it to a website for download.

It is important to note that every individual and company who is writing their proposal responses have to have their licensed copy of whatever proposal writing product they use. This means you can't send other companies templates that are licensed only for your company to fill in and return to you as their submitted proposal. If you are using a kit of proposal writing materials (i.e. a proposal kit) to create your RFP response you can suggest to your proposal responders to get their kit to create their response if they do not already have a proposal writing system in place. This may increase your chances of getting responses back that are more consistent in look, layout, and design as well which can make the proposal evaluation process easier.

Hridoy Ahmed

About the Author

Hridoy Ahmed
Joined: May 8th, 2019
Articles Posted: 61

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