Responding to an RFP is not a writing project to complete, it’s a sales process to win–and we need to treat it that way.
Buyers issue RFPs for only one of two reasons; because they have to or because they want to. If you get an RFP but don’t know which one it is, your chances of winning just went down.
Sellers ask about average win rates because they’re trying to gauge their performance. They’re looking for some external standard against which they can evaluate how well they’re doing. But is this the best approach?
Some writers feel the need to capitalize words more than is actually necessary. Fortunately, there are capitalization rules to guide us.
In the old days, formal business writing precluded the use of contractions. In today’s informal world, contractions are fine.
Use active voice when writing proposals. Your writing will be clearer, and you won’t sound like you’re trying to hide something.
If you use color graphs and charts to communicate information in your proposals, then the 8% of men and .5% of women who are colorblind may not understand.
Most people do not read a proposal cover to cover. If you want to increase its readability, make it easy to skim.
Conducting a public records program.
Every seller that writes proposals in response to federal or state/local government RFPs should ask for copies of all the proposals submitted. Are you?
Including your client’s logo in your proposal can be risky. Resist the temptation.
When reviewing a proposal, it’s better to remove unnecessary things than it is to add more words. Be concise.
When responding to RFPs, true success comes from saying, proactively, two years ahead of time, “I want that contract, and here’s how I plan to go win it.”
When writing proposals, use a single space after a period.
If you respond to every RFP you receive, you’re wasting resources.