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Fellow badge How to define your financial proposal - read our tips for consultants

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by Henrik Rydén
COO and Co-founder of Impactpool

Coming up with a financial proposal when applying for a consultancy at the UN is not an easy task. In this article, we have gathered some creative ideas on what you can do to price your services.

The procurement process for hiring consultant looks different both within and between agencies, we are not going to dig into the differences more in detail, however, if you are interested in different procurement procedures you can, for example, google 'Request for Quotation (RFQ)', 'Expression of Interest (EOI)', 'Invitation to Bid (ITB)' or 'Request for Proposal (RFP)', these are the four most common ones. 

 
When applying for a consultancy you are sometimes asked to submit the financial proposal at the time of application, but in most cases, you will send the proposal later (when shortlisted). This difference in procedure is also quite important for you as an applicant, if the proposal happens upfront you may think about a proposal in the lower range to remain competitive, if the proposal comes later in the process (meaning that the organization has primarily evaluated your skills and shows an interest in your services) you may look towards a higher range of your financial proposal.
 

Read the Terms of Reference (ToR) to understand the evaluation criteria
 
In most organizations, the evaluation criteria are included in the ToR (consultancy advertisement). The evaluation criteria define how all offers received should be evaluated by the organization and often the evaluation criteria state the evaluation ratio between ‘price’ and ‘technical skills’. If the evaluation criteria are not included in the ToR, you may ask the organization about this, as it is imperative for you both when you apply and when you define your financial proposal.
 
A normal distribution in the evaluation criteria between Technical skills (required/desired skills and technical test) and Financial proposal is 70/30, meaning that if you meet all requirements stated in the ToR and you do well in the technical test you have a better opportunity to take height in your financial proposal.
 

How well does the consultancy match your background?
 
In the consultancy Terms of Reference (ToR) you can read what skills are required and desired to perform the role of the consultant. When submitting your application you must make sure that you cover each and every item listed in the ToR, as comparing your application with the ToR is the only way an organization can conduct the ‘paper evaluation’. On e advice is that you copy the list from the ToR and include them item by item in your application (use the T-table method). If you want to give yourself a fair chance to get the consultancy, you must not submit a generic application; you must tailor it for the specific consultancy.

Sign in to learn:

- How you should price-tag yourself;
- How well do your skills fit with the requirements/desires in the ToR;
- What benchmark do you have when defining your financial proposal.

 
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