vending carts

Concession Trailer, Vending Cart, Lunch Truck Business Information Center



General Business Articles

How To Write a Winning Proposal!

Translate This Page


Unlike an RFQ (request for quotation) that is usually for a tangible product, where a detailed group of specifications are defined, an RFP (request for proposal) is usually for a service or engineered project where the solution could be delivered in numerous methods. The purpose of the RFP is for the responding company to delineate the methods that they will use to fulfill the need and at what price.

The proposal can be a response to a detailed RFP with due dates and normal bidding criteria or it can be unsolicited and informal. In general, the purpose of the response is to get the right to present your solution, in person to the potential buyer. Very seldom are awards for work given directly as a result, of an RFP.

Once the goal of writing the proposal is determined, to be selected for the short list of companies who will be allowed to present their solution, the writers can determine what they need to say.

In order to get to the short list, you must instill a sense of confidence in the potential buyer that you are capable of completing the project or supplying the service.

  1. This includes, having the staff and/or manpower necessary, their qualifications and the financial strength of the company.
  2. A history of satisfactory completion of similar projects in size and complexity or of providing similar services to companies of similar size and/or characteristics.
  3. An indication that you understand the needs of the prospective client and your solution to those needs. This is the area where most companies fail. They fail because they write a book and try to cover every plausible need the buyer may have. By highlighting every possible need scenario, you are indicating to the buyer that you truly do not understand the buyer’s hot spots or problems. The bidder needs to identify at most three key needs, and concentrate on providing detailed solutions to those. A summary of the overall services of the company can delineate other areas where the bidder has solutions, however this area must be very brief and to the point.

A number of years ago proposals were ranked by their weight and flashy appearance. This is no longer the case. We are in an era where companies are operating lean. They do not have the time or the inclination to read wordy, not to the point, flashy proposals. In some cases, flashy proposals are taken as an indication that the bidder is not cost conscious and in this day and age, that image is not generally acceptable.

Unless you are in the advertising industry, you are not selling the format of the proposal you are selling the information that is within the proposal. To have the potential buyer say that you had the best looking proposal has no meaning if he contracts the project to another company.

If you are responding to a formal RFP, the answers should be short, informative and to the point. The individuals reading your proposal will appreciate that they do not have to sift through paragraphs of motherhood statements in order to find the answer to their questions. In most cases, they won’t bother.

Remember that the way you write is an indication of how you respond and work with clients in general. If you don’t get to the point in an RFP the client will assume that you don’t get to the point in anything you do.

If you have questions or comments write to: Comments & Questions

Manufacturers, Retailers, Dealers - Advertise on this page!

copyright 2006/15 - all rights reserved

Privacy Policy