Quick responses to an RFP: make sales and build relationships

So you've gotten an RFP—congratulations! Sure, you don't have a sale yet, but the RFP is already good news. It means that the people who might want to hire you have not only heard about you, but they've heard enough good things about you to think you might be able to help them. That in itself is an accomplishment, so feel good about it!

But of course just getting your good name out there is only one step on the way to closing. With the RFP in hand, you must now act in ways that continue to bolster your prospect's good impression of you. Keep these tips in mind to edge out the competition.

1. Respond as soon as possible.

This should be a no-brainer: get your proposal into your prospect's hands as fast as possible. For most businesses, a good way to do this is to use CPQ software: they quickly and reliably generate professional-looking proposals.

But even if you're not using CPQ software, you should do your utmost to get a proposal out as soon as possible for two reasons. First, of course, you want to beat out your competitors—you're probably not the only one to receive an RFP, and you want your proposal to be the one to beat. @@Being first in the door means you'll be the closest to the sale@@.

And the second reason you want to respond as soon as possible is that your prospect will treat how you respond to the RFP as an indication of what it will be like to deal with you in the future if they hire you. If you respond promptly with a good proposal and a professional email, your prospect will expect that any future communications with you will also be quick and professional. Every interaction you have with a prospect is a chance to show that you're the sort of person they want to deal with.

And if for whatever reason you can't respond to an RFP with a quick proposal, you should still respond. Send them a nice note telling them you received the RFP and tell them when they can expect a proposal. @@The important thing is this: every response is an opportunity to turn an RFP into a relationship@@.

rfp response long game

2. The response to an RFP can be part of a long game.

Suppose an RFP comes across your desk that doesn't quite fit what you and your business offer—you should still reply with a proposal and a professional message, even if you don't think this particular job is for you.

Why? Because your prospect is likely to have many other needs in the future, some of which may be a great fit for your business. If you were slow to reply to their RFP—or worse, failed to reply at all—the prospect is unlikely to think of you in the future or, worse, will have a poor impression of what it is like to deal with you.

So when you get an RFP, don't just think of it as a chance to make a sale. Think of it as a chance to build a business relationship that will endure past the needs of a single job. And @@the key to every relationship is quick and clear communication@@.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.