You read the RFP issued and you provided the mandatory 2 relevant references with contact information. 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.
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.
4 ways to incorporate reference letters into your companies best practices:
- Have your managers consistently request reference letters at the close of a successful project.
- Place reference letters in the appendices of the 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!