Thursday, December 4, 2014

8 Steps to Getting Great Proposals for Your Association!

Want great proposals? Submit awesome requests.

The other day I received a request from an association seeking qualified contractors for a marketing project.

I’ve been on both sides of the “RFP” process: seeking contractors via RFPs and building proposals responding to RFPs.

This specific request (a “request for concept papers”) seems a step in the right direction ... with some exceptions.

Bottom line: issuing great requests results getting great proposals.

Here are eight steps to help you get contractors that best fit your needs:

1.  Select a qualified group of potential contractors ... probably no more than 10-12.

2.  Build and issue a request for capabilities to those on your qualified list. 
  • Share in-depth information about your association, the program and any research available. Include the anticipated budget.
3.  Allow at least four to six weeks for contractors to respond.

4. Review the capabilities of those who respond. Conduct followup calls to verify their qualifications.

5. Select two to four “finalists.”

6. Build and issue a very detailed Request for Proposals (RFP) to your finalists.

  • Share in-depth information including facts, strategies, desired outcomes, budgets, etc. Outline the key elements that will be used to select the final contractor.
7. Invite the finalists to make an in-person presentation. Depending on the complexity of your request, you should allow 60-90 minutes for the presentation and Q&A session.

8. Select your contractor and notify the other vendors within seven days.

If you’ve been part of either side, please to share any comments or additional steps you have used or wish the association would have included in their RFP.

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