RFPs: Everything You Need to Know About the RFP Process

Note: Examples are not the same as spec work. It is frowned upon in many artistic or digital service industries to ask someone to work for free in order to win your business. If their examples are not enough of an idea of the work they can do, consider paying for samples instead of expecting the work for free.

Selection Criteria:  Lastly, bidders should know what you’re evaluating their proposals on. Consider this your rubric, something for them to follow to the letter if they expect your serious consideration. Are you going to evaluate bidders on their experience, or their past work? Is cost a huge factor? Do you want bidders to be experts in their industry with a lot of technical knowledge and skills?

Just like the qualifications, selection criteria should also be in a bulleted format. These don’t have to be a word-for-word repetition of the things you’ve already said, but a reminder that the requirements you’ve listed will play big roles in your decision-making process.

For example, one selection criteria for a marketing agency might state:

Work Experience: The amount of time in which a bidder has spent working in the marketing industry will influence our evaluation of the right candidate.

The selection criteria section is a good time to restate the deadline, further emphasizing your prioritization of punctuality and desire to get the ball rolling quickly. 

Contact Information:  There is no point to any of the work you’ve done if you fail to include information on how to submit! Whether an email for digital copies or an address for hard copies, be sure the end of your RFP provides a way for bidders to send you their proposals. 


Sample RFP questions

We’ve talked a lot about determining your goals and picking out a knowledgeable team that knows which questions to ask in the RFP. But what do we mean by that? What kinds of questions should you be asking of bidders?

While the answer will vary from one genre or industry to the next – remember marketing, PR, government RFPs – there are still some questions that can be used regardless of industry. Here are some examples of questions you can consider including in your RFP that, when answered, provide a more cohesive look at the bidders you’re looking to hire.

Why should I choose you, and what would you bring to the table?

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