Whether you are writing your first RFP response or your hundredth, it’s sometimes hard not to give all the information you want to the buyers. RFP responses should be targeted and strategic – but that doesn’t mean they should be 50 pages long. An RFP response can be simple to win your target audience. Below you can find some common mistakes when writing an RFP response that you and your team should learn to avoid.
There is a balancing act between properly addressing the criteria set out in the RFP and including too much information. If your proposal is overwhelming, it will be counted out early in the review process. Double-check what extra information can be taken out or if any pieces within the response can be shortened. Always make sure you’re only providing the answers to what the buyer is asking and target what they need that your business can offer.
Don’t assume that the people reviewing your bids have the same technical expertise as you. Explain the technical aspects of the proposal as if you were talking to a neighbor at a backyard BBQ. If you can’t avoid adding technical terms, consider adding a glossary or short description of what they mean.
Your proposal should follow the same format as the RFP. It makes it easier for reviewers to search for certain response components and confirm that you’ve met all the criteria. Double-check the RFP to see if there are any requirements such as templates and formats.
While you may get dinged for including too much info, you’ll be disqualified automatically if you omit key information. Conduct an extra pre-submission audit to make sure that you’ve addressed every requirement.
Have a third party, either a colleague or other industry professional, review your proposal to ensure that there are no spelling and grammatical errors. It doesn’t matter what your company can provide the buyer – there is no excuse for poor grammar and spelling.
Don’t get so caught up in demonstrating past performance value that you fail to communicate how you’ll solve the customer’s current problems. Take a step back and ensure you’re speaking about how you will support the priorities they value most right now.
To sum up, you should always try and avoid these mistakes when writing an RFP response so you can make it more targeted and catch the attention of the buyer. We also have some tips on how to write a strategic RFP response.
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