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How to Create RFP Submissions That Win

WinningAcquiring new business is rewarding. It is also time consuming, stressful, and sometimes aggravating.

The hours of research, preparation, and creativity you put into each request for proposal (RFP) submission should be rewarded with a “congrats, you got the job” high five—however that’s not always the case.

Sometimes, even after spending the better part of your week(s) pulling together your very best submission, you don’t win. Then you’re left with nothing but a consoling “thanks for the effort” low five.

Why? You may be the wrong fit, are too expensive, lack relevant experience, or your submission wasn’t as engaging and informative as your competition.

To help increase the chances of landing that new business, we’ve outlined five recommendations for nailing the perfect creative services RFP submission.

Top 5 Tips To Create the Perfect Pricing Quote

1. Gather more information.

The RFP could come from an existing client (rather than a new prospect)—however, you still need detailed information to accurately present numbers and service descriptions.

Even if your company has a standard pricing model, you need to have a full grasp about the project scope before you respond.

Author Geoffrey James suggests calling or emailing the contact as soon as you receive the RFP. “You can also ask qualifying questions so that you can identify and/or confirm their role in the decision making and approval process, as well as whether they're looking at competitors.”

2. Make it look visually appealing.

Which would you prefer: A blank document with a bunch of numbers and salesy words, OR an organized document that visually demonstrates your company’s capabilities using sample work and charts? Clearly this is a no-brainer.

This probably isn’t your first rodeo, so show (don’t describe) your company’s capabilities and the previous accomplishments with visuals:

  • Screenshots of sample work.
  • Proven track record of client success with charts and graphs.
  • Testimonials with client headshots.
  • Media placements about your agency with the publications’ logos.
  • Examples of awards your company won.
  • Images of you, your co-workers and your office.

For more information, check out Convince & Convert’s blog post, Seven Tips For Jumpstarting Your Visual Storytelling Strategy.

3. Keep the quote clean. 

Keep the most important information of the quote easily accessible.

Don’t try to conceal prices or overly-fluff the descriptions of the services your company provides. Your pricing quotes should be high-level, transparent and straightforward. The prospect will appreciate the minimal effort required on their part to understand what you’re able to offer.

Also, make sure you add some pizazz to your pricing quote by customizing the layout with your company’s logo, font style and color scheme.

Customizing each new quote could be time-intensive if you are manually pulling templates together. Instead, consider investing in a software program that enables you to build customized quotes in a matter of minutes, such as WorkflowMax.

4. Include a cover letter.

When submitting your proposal to an RFP, make sure to include a cover letter or summary in your email that explains what you’re presenting and why.

Highlight that you understand their goals, and summarize why your company is the best/only option to help them achieve those objectives.

Within a few paragraphs, the prospect should know that you understand what they are trying to accomplish, and that your experience and capabilities distinguish you from anyone else competing for the job.

5. Insert photos of babies.

Everyone loves babies—it’s basically science. Don’t believe it? Then why did Evian have an entire marketing campaign that incorporated babies?

If you want your pricing quote to really outshine the competition, you need to include images of babies. Ever try to say no to a cute baby? Physically impossible.

Include baby images that will convey:

How they can rest easy that you’re on the job.

Sleeping

How hard you’ll work.

Working

How hopeful you are that they’ll pick you.

Hopeful

And, how sad you’ll be if they go in a different direction.

crying

Please Note: This tip isn’t advised for all business, as it could distract from the rest of the submission. So unless you’re a baby photographer, use with caution.

Make sure the hard work you and your team put into each RFP submission gives it a fighting chance of winning the business. Implement these best practices to help make your job easier—and your boss happier.

What does your company do to make pricing quotes stand out from the competition? Share your tips in our comments section below.

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