The great thing about an RFP – Request for Proposal is that it gives you the opportunity to really pitch your product or service. This is because an RFP is not looking for a response that sticks rigidly to a prescribed format. It will give you the opportunity to describe your proposition in the way that best enables you to explain how your solution will meet their needs.
This is, in fact, absolutely key – how you will meet their needs. The first step in the process is to understand exactly what their needs are. This information can be gathered in a combination of different ways. Face to face is my favourite. This way you can ask questions, and probe areas of particular interest. It also enables you to read body language, and explore aspects that might not be immediately apparent, and it is this way that you might unearth some nuggets that may make the crucial difference in winning the business.
As well as face to face meetings, and general relationship building with all relevant individuals, take some time to research the organisation in question. It is likely that there will be corporate or organisational themes that it would be good for you to tune in to. These may be expressed as mission statements or as a corporate vision or as organisational values. Any solution that is proposed by you that enable individuals within the organisation to contribute towards the achievement of these aims is going to well received.
Now; addressing the RFP – Request for Proposal, this needs to reflect all the things that you have learned during your fact finding, and your proposal needs to be built around these. The best format I have found is that of NOSE:
- Needs – what they want in terms of a solution
- Outcomes – what they want to achieve from this solution
- Solution – what your solution is, and how you will deliver it
- Evidence – assurance that you can and will deliver the solution, and that it will work
For more on NOSE based proposals contact me.