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What are the Different Types of Proposal Request?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different types of proposal requests created by organizations for a variety of purposes. These documents are useful when attempting to negotiate the terms of providing a service or requesting resources for operational or project needs. One is most often used to secure a contract with another organization or to obtain funding for a specific purpose.

The most common form is a solicited request, also known as a request for proposal, or RFP. This type of proposal request may be advertised in a local or industrial publication by an entity to directly request vendors to send in written proposals. It is often seen in the construction industry when building and design firms request construction bids be submitted by a particular deadline.

Another form is the unsolicited variety, in which the organization does not ask for bids to be placed. The unsolicited request for proposal may be a standing order in which other potential vendors or providers must always submit a request before any contractual agreement can be considered. Unsolicited requests are most often in the form of sales proposals or grant proposals that must be submitted before any action can commence.

In some cases, if the organization is seeking additional funding or agreements with another entity, such as a government agency or a supplier, repeat or renewal proposal requests may be required periodically. This type ensures that the organization can continue to benefit from the resources provided by another for a certain period of time. The repeat or renewal RFP is a written record of transactions and agreements made between the organizations.

An additional form of RFP is the business proposal in which one company agrees to perform a specific service or provide a product to another for a certain price. Each company has a particular way of writing and executing a business proposal. Generally, the writing is managed by the sales executive team or the administrative support team at the company, and then submitted in accordance with the other party’s demands.

When an organization opts to make a change to a request for proposal or contract, this is most often handled by writing and submitting a request for amendment to the contract. The amendment lists the change to the contract in black and white so that both parties are in agreement for legal purposes. The amended contract, including the proposal changes, then replaces the existing contract.

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Discussion Comments
By OeKc05 — On May 18, 2012

@wavy58 – That is funny! Well, some proposal requests can involve weddings, but not in the way you would think.

My sister actually filled out several proposal request forms in order to decide which hotel would be best to host her wedding reception. Many of the nicer hotels offer these forms online. You just fill out the details about time and date and number of guests, and they tell you what price you can expect to pay to hold your event there.

She took into account all the extras that different hotels offered and factored that into the total cost. She went with one that was pricier than some, but she based her decision on the quality of the hotel and the attention that would be going into making her reception spectacular.

By seag47 — On May 17, 2012

My husband works in construction, and his boss fills out proposal request forms all the time. He tries to underbid the competition in order to get more work for his crew.

This guy knows how much most companies would charge for certain types of work, and he tries to bid just under that amount in order to get the attention of the potential employers. He hasn't been disappointed very often.

My husband stays busy because of his boss's knowledge of negotiation tactics. I think that the proposal request method of doing business is great, because it gives the underdog a chance to rise to the top and establish a good reputation by starting out doing work inexpensively.

By wavy58 — On May 17, 2012

Before reading this article, I thought that a request for a proposal was simply a girl asking a guy to propose to her! I had no idea that businesses actually wanted firms to compete to be able to work with them.

That's a pretty smart idea, now that I think about it. A company could get work done on a building for a much better price by accepting several bids than they could have gotten by hiring one without looking at the other options. I imagine that the savings could be in the thousands, in some cases.

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