How to Decline an RFP

Written by kristina allen
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How to Decline an RFP
Decline an RFP professionally to sustain the vendor relationship. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A request for proposal or RFP is issued by a vendor or agency that hopes to win a service contract with a particular company. Included in the RFP will be a high level outline of how the vendor plans to assist the company and how much it will cost. Most organisations will request proposals from a handful of potential vendors, and select only one for the contract. However, companies must decline rejected RFPs professionally to maintain vendor relationships for future needs.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Thank the person who submitted the proposal. Blue Star, Inc. states you should begin the letter of rejection by recognising the time and effort put into creating the proposal.

  2. 2

    State the reason why you are declining the proposal. The Professional RFP Letters website states you should include specific reasons why you are declining. The more specific you are, the less opportunity the vendor has for questioning your decision.

  3. 3

    Disclose the vendor you chose only if you want to. You are not required to share this information.

  4. 4

    Close the letter with a professional sign-off. Colorado State University states that appropriate signoffs include "Sincerely" or "Thank You" followed by your name and title.

  5. 5

    Keep the lines of communication open. You may have future projects for which declined vendors may be a good fit.

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