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What’s the best way to receive comprehensive responses to your language services RFP? We’ve gathered tips and tricks to help you write and organize your Request for Proposal for optimal responses. Read on to learn how to improve your RFP document and get the best responses from language services providers (LSPs).

1. Provide valuable information

When you provide more information about your goals, challenges, and current language services, language providers can better customize RFP responses to your company's needs. Make sure to share:

  • Average interpretation usage (minutes per month)
  • Number of employees and facilities the contract will support
  • Customer service and reporting requirements
  • Which LSP you currently work with
  • Your top 15 languages

For translation RFPs, you may want to provide samples of the work to be translated, especially for video, website, and eLearning projects. Share as many details as possible by answering these questions:

  • Which languages do you need?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Do visual elements include text that needs translation?
  • Does the final product need to meet certain formatting specifications?
  • For videos, do you need captions, subtitles, voiceover, or dubbing?
  • For website localization, which pages/sections of the site need translation?
  • For eLearning, how many modules are included?

Finally, think about other communications within the process. If you allow potential respondents to ask questions, do so early in the RFP timeline and respond promptly. Taking these steps allows respondents to modify their responses.

2. Organize thoughtfully

The structure of your Request for Proposal can significantly impact the quality and clarity of responses you receive. Your selection committee will need to read, analyze, and compare responses—provide clear guidelines that make it easier for readers to comprehend. Ask respondents to use a distinct labeling system for each section and question or provide an outline you’d like them to follow.

Want more tips to help you organize your RFP? Access the full version of this article by signing up for our free RFP Resources.

3. Use simple language

While most RFP respondents expect language with a formal, legal, or contractual tone for terms and conditions, it’s helpful when RFP documents are written using plain language. Simplify the language in your RFP wherever possible—instructions, company background, and supplemental information, for example.

If you have more questions about interpretation or translation services RFPs, CyraCom has more resources for you!

CyraCom's new RFP Resources help you throughout every step of the RFP process from learning how to write an RFP to comparing responses.

Access the full version of this post, our RFP Guides, our recommended pricing template, and more.

Lindsay Lawson

Lindsay Lawson

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in interpreting and translation services, how language works.