RE: Help! Suddenly I'm a new RFP/proposal writer
One of the RFP requirements was that three bound copies of the proposal be
delivered personally to specific individuals in our firm by a previously
identified official contact for this proposal. We identified several
individuals authorized to take receipt of the proposals. The vendors each
identified several points of contact. NDAs were signed early in the process
by everyone from the point-of-contract through the person our lawyers felt
gave us the most binding and encompassing NDA.
A law firm still can serve this function. E-mailing or faxing the proposal is a no brainer for a law firm to bind.
There was a significant question-and-answer period for clarifications, with
all vendors fully in the loop on any question asked and any answer given.
There was little room for "additions or corrections" after the proposal was
In a proposal for telecommunications in an African country, my client was required to attend the site visit. I sent a lawyer in that country. If a lawyer bungles the Q&A session, the client can go after the law firm for misrepresentation and a few other things. Some RFPs are allowing video conferences in to the Q&A session.
They also kvetched about the onerous "burden" put upon them and said they
had never seen anything so tough.
Nearly everyone inexperienced in proposal writing will kvetch like that.
Question: in the experience of others, does the strictness of the written
RFP vary with the number of zeroes in the contract amount? By the level of
interested competitors? By private versus government purchaser?
Complex question. Private and govt proposals are very different. Also a major difference between goods and services. Almost every proposal I work on is peer reviewed which means there is NO purchasing agent involved (thank God!).
The number of zeroes may or may not affect an RFP. The largest I have worked on is US$3 billion the smallest Cdn$35,000. For me, the work is nearly the same, just with the larger ones, there is a writing team and with the small ones I often do not get paid.
I also write many R&D proposals (my bread and butter). The small proposals I work on are exclusively R&D. This type of proposal is an entirely different kettle of fish.
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