Call and Response: Handling RFP Tension (29 Aug 2005)
In my office, we have a love-hate relationship with the request for proposal, or RFP. On one hand, RFPs are a handy substitute for open-ended conversations with client prospects who want a proposal, but can provide few details about what the proposal should cover (drafting an RFP requires that clients put at least some thought into project requirements). On the other hand, a poorly written RFP is much worse than even the most tentative and exploratory telephone conversation or meeting.
Having taken the time to produce an RFP, clients will lean heavily on the document as the guiding instrument of their discussions with you. If this document falls short in any way, you may find yourself in the uneasy position of writing a proposal without a clear understanding of how to insure that your capabilities and experience effectively align with the client’s needs.
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