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Blog | 08.29.22

7 Writing Tips to Craft a Winning RFP Response

Writing a strong and strategic proposal may take some time and analysis. But fine-tuning your process now can save you more time in the future and strategically grow your business in the public sector. Here are some tips on how to craft a winning RFP response.

#1: Impress Them on the First Page

RFP responses tend to be long, so you want to captivate the buyer on the first page of your response. If the reviewers aren’t captivated by what you have to say in the first two lines of your proposal, they may stop reading and discard all your hard work — even if you are the supplier offering the Best Value or Lowest Price Technically Acceptable.

Showcase a 2-line summary of your business and let them know how you can be a worthy partner to them to lock in the attention of the reviewer.

#2: Be Timely

Writing a winning RFP response takes some time, so make sure not to rush it. You can start practicing now by creating 2 different versions of the proposals that align your business and prospective buyers. Analyze each and see which one you and your team think is the best. Use that practice response in crafting a customized final response.

#3: Customization is Key to Success

There is no “one size fits all” approach to RFP responses. You need to be adaptable and customize each of your responses based on the criteria of each agency’s RFPs. It’s important to have an understanding of what the buyer is looking for and target what they need that your business can offer.

#4: Do Your Homework

Review past contracts for the requesting agency. See which bids were successful, especially in the category in which you’re currently competing, and pay close attention to why certain suppliers were selected. Be sure your proposal is competitive in terms of price, quality of goods or services, and other evaluation factors. Use third-party tools like Spend Analytics to easily search public records for past bid awards. This is a great way to gain a competitive advantage and bid appropriately.

#5: Prepare and Highlight Your Business Certifications

If your business is a minority, woman, or disabled veteran-owned, get the proper certifications to validate this. Public sector contract awards to businesses that fall in these categories are increasing. The RFP should specify the types of insurance and license needed to compete. Make sure you have those administrative items in place before investing any time or expense into writing a proposal.

#6: Get Outside Help

If certain RFP requirements fall outside your company’s expertise, consider partnering with a business that can fulfill those aspects of the solicitation. You can research old or current plan holder lists and reach out to relevant businesses.

#7: Use What’s Given to You

Make sure you closely follow the instructions within the bid documents. This includes using any kind of template that the government buyer has provided you to use for answers to questions or specific forms.

Practice and take your time in writing a strategic RFP response. You can view the full guide on crafting a strategic RFP response here. Ultimately, keep in mind that you are writing this winning RFP response for the growth of your business. Pursuing government business opportunities can be a key contributor to your company’s success. Happy bidding!