How to Respond to RFPs

Let me start by explaining what a RFP is for my newbies. A RFP is a request for proposal. As a Virtual Assistant, in my opinion, this is the second most stressful task you’ll have, number one probably being marketing and prospecting. The Virtual Assistant Industry is growing at an alarming rate and for you, it means more competition. Every proposal you send should have a WOW factor. You must grab the attention of your prospect quickly. Here are some points that will get you started.

The most important factor to consider would be your qualifications. The worst thing you could do for your Virtual Assistant business is to over promise and under deliver. Here are some questions to ask before you put any work into that proposal.

  • Do you have the required skill set and experience to perform the needed tasks?
  • Do you have the resources and tools available to work for the prospective client?
  • Are you familiar with the prospect’s industry?
  • Can you meet the time restraints, if there are any?
  • Is the task or project one that you would enjoy working on?

After you’ve done the self-assessment above and you feel that you can answer a strong yes to all of the questions, it’s time to start writing that proposal.

Here are eight points to consider when preparing your proposal:

  1. Carefully read the RFP and be sure to follow their submission guidelines. Prospects will quickly dismiss you if you can’t follow simple instructions.
  2. If the prospect has included a website or company name, do a little research to see what their business is all about. This will also make it easier to include some key points of interest in your proposal.
  3. One of the first things a prospective client wants to know is that you can do the work. Confirm early in the proposal that you are capable and qualified. If possible give examples.
  4. Check for errors.
  5. Don’t complicate things or try to use any long or fancy words. Keep your proposal short and sweet.
  6. Be sure to include your rates. Prospects don’t want to have to contact you or look online to see what you’re charging. It’s your job to show the value in your services and justify your pricing structure. Remember don’t try to win them on price alone, you want them to choose you for value and quality.
  7. Submit your proposal in a timely manner.
  8. After you’ve submitted your proposal, make sure that you follow up with the prospect. Follow up is important to first and foremost, ensure that they received the proposal and to secondly, show the prospect that you are eager and ready to work with them.

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Apex Virtual Solutions is an Atlanta, Georgia based virtual assistant firm that provides a host of services for small businesses and solopreneurs. For more information on our company or to subscribe to our newsletter for more great small business resources click here: http://www.apexassisting.com.

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