Re: Know of courses on writing RFP responses?

Subject: Re: Know of courses on writing RFP responses?
From: lyndsey -dot- amott -at- docsymmetry -dot- com
To: "Clarence Gray" <Clarence -dot- Gray -at- AgressoAmericas -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 02 Feb 2004 22:18:38 -0500

Clarence Gray writes:

I've recently been given the task of writing RFP responses for my company. I don't have any formal or informal background in marketing/sales.
My question is: Does anyone know of a course in writing an RFP response that may help me out (particularly one online)? I'm located in Victoria, BC, Canada.
I am not aware of any courses on the subject, but there are books that can help. In particular, Self-Counsel Press used to have a book called "Starting a Consulting Business in Canada," which included a chapter on responding to RFPs. But even if you don't have any books to guide you, the RFP itself provides many clues as to how you should respond. If it says, for example, that the contract winner must provide documentation that includes online help, an installation guide, and a configuration guide, you will know that your response must assure them that you have the resources to provide them with the required doc. So, for every requirement, you must be able to prove that you can meet it.
The more closely you follow the RFP, the more likely you are to win the contract. If they state that they need a Planning and Engineering Guide, for example, make sure to call it that in your response--don't call it a Site Preparation Guide just because that's what your company calls it. Get a sense of the vocabulary used in the RFP and use it in your response.
Sometimes, you have to read between the lines. For example, if the requestor wants someone who can provide financial advice to employees who will soon be laid off, you might want to reassure the requestor that your company will use the utmost discretion and kindness in dealing with those employees.
Depending on how much money your company wants to spend on presentation, you might want to have the response bound, or at least put in a presentation folder.
Your company has given you the task because they think you can do it. They are most likely right. Just use the same writing skills you have always used in other jobs, but remember that your audience is probably not composed of engineers and techies.
Lyndsey Amott
Winnipeg, MB R3G 2J3

Know of courses on writing RFP responses?: From: Clarence Gray

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