Making RFPs Work For You

September 21 2016

‚ÄčThere’s a secret to how to create successful Request for Proposals (RFP) to ensure quality and value from professionals who deliver results.

Want to know it?

Because we’re willing to tell you.

We’re wanting to tell you.

We’re waiting to tell you.

And here it is.

If you want a successful project, the number one rule to using RFPs is...don’t.

Don’t use RFPs.

RFPs are archaic, counterproductive, illogical business sense, and, frankly, they’re stupid.

There’s no denying they sound like a good idea. In fact, they sound like a great idea! A business writes down all the stuff they want and wait for people to bring them their best ideas and their lowest cost. And that’s basically what happens. But unfortunately it’s not that simple.

RFPs should ensure quality and value. But they are doomed at the very core of their conception.

Requesting Proposals Is Pretty Much Just Guessing

The concept of the RFP is to hire someone to do a job you can’t.

So think about that. A business that can’t solve their problem for whatever reason, creates a document telling others how they want them to solve their problem. They don’t know how to do it. They don’t know what resources are available. And they don’t know what costs are involved.

A Final Product Without Production

Smart business solutions are based on distinct, measurable goals. But unless the experts have sat down with the business to discover those needs and goals, they cannot propose a sufficient solution.

The solution process takes time and collaboration. It takes discovery and creative solutions.

RFPs Don’t Vet Bidders

An RFP specifically eliminates the opportunity for a developer to prove themselves. Often there is no room for past success, portfolio work, customer testimonials. And these are the things that prove the contractor can do what they say they do.

Professionals Are Asked to Work for Free

When an RFP asks for spec work, what they are actually asking for is free labor. Bidders are using their time, staff, resources, and talent to propose a solution that may or may not be compensated. So the most talented and qualified candidates are also the ones who are likely to be ripped off when they are lowballed by the less qualified.

You Really Don’t Want the End Product to Look Like the Proposal

We cannot stress enough that an RFP is an inadequate method for providing necessary information to create effective solutions. With limited info, if the end solution looks like the original proposal, it’s likely something somewhere was dropped instead of pursued as the best solution.

What You See Is Not What You Get

There’s a talent to making yourself look good on paper. Especially if you accompany your so-called qualifications with a lowball price. And there are plenty of shysters pretending to be professionals and doing a great job of convincing others. Anyone who proposes they have the solution without building a relationship with the client is just putting you on.

Like we said, RFPs seem like they would be great, but they’re just silly. They’re a flawed process from the beginning. You know, the part where you try to figure out the solutions when that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.  

Is there an alternative?

Glad you asked. Because there is. Give us a call. Let’s get together. Let’s talk about your business and your goals. Let’s talk about what we have to offer and a plan for getting you effective solutions.