You read the RFP issued and you provided the mandatory two relevant references with contact information in your response. Is that enough?
Most organizations responding to RFPs think that this will do. After all, it’s what the issuer asked for.
But to stand out in an extremely competitive RFP response landscape means to think differently than you have in the past, and certainly think differently than your competition.
While they are not always requested, reference letters from clients provide a positive third-party endorsement of your organization. Using them should become part of your RFP best practices.
When you think about responding to RFPs, we suggest putting on your biz-dev-hat and think about wowing the issuer. A simple recommendation is to enhance your references. In our experience Reference Letters help companies stand out.
How? They provide instant credibility. Real companies saying that you provided real solutions.
Four Ways to Incorporate Reference Letters into Your RFP Response
- Have your managers consistently request reference letters at the close of a successful RFP project.
- Place reference letters in the appendices of the RFP proposal responses.
- Reference the location of the letters within the written proposal response so evaluators know where to find them.
- File all reference letters in a digital filing system – develop an Proposal Content Library that is consistently added to on an ongoing basis that can be easily accessed by your RFP response teams.
In our experience when clients think strategically rather than tactically about RFP responses, they are already one huge step ahead of the competition!