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Should You Respond to that RFP?

Should You Respond to that RFP?

Responding to an RFP can sometimes yield a large new client or continue a relationship critical to the prosperity of a law firm. Major RFPs typically involve many hours of discussion, writing, discussion, and re-writing before they are sent off right before the deadline.

For this major investment of non-billable time, it’s imperative your firm win its fair share of beauty contests. And at the beginning of the process, that means determining if the RFP is worth it for your firm to pursue. Here are some questions to consider:

1. Does the Firm have sufficient time to prepare a high quality response?

2. If successful, will this effort deepen an existing client relationship or develop new work of strategic significance to the Firm?

3. Is there a “champion” or sponsoring partner for this RFP inside your firm? Has this partner identified other substantive leaders for the required practice areas? Has a strategy and assignments call been scheduled and held to parcel out responsibilities in advance of the deadline? Have other partners committed to provide material as needed according to the timeline? Is the lead partner readily available for questions on the preparation of the response?

4. Does the lead partner have time set aside to review and edit the complete submission, including:

• Choosing a service team appropriate for the opportunity

• Determining rates or fees

• Selecting example matters that demonstrate relevant experience

• Tailoring narrative drafts to differentiate the Firm and the proposed practice area

5. Does the sponsoring partner have a personal relationship with a client-side decision maker? What do we know beyond the RFP about the selection criteria and process? This personal relationship is essential in crafting a response that differentiates the Firm.

6. Have potential conflicts been resolved? If an alternative fee proposal will be submitted, has the proposal been internally approved?

7. Is there agreement by the sponsoring partner(s) to follow up with the client after submission and report on progress towards selection?

Need help with your firm’s response to an RFP ? Contact us and request our free RFP Guide.