Why RFPs May Not Be Your Best Option When Selecting a Partner

A woman typing on her computer.Is your organization still sending out RFPs?

Here’s a response I gave to an organization requesting that we participate in their RFP process when they inquired why we hadn’t responded:

“Typically, we don’t respond to RFPs. At Relish, we believe that good partnerships begin with good relationships. Since RFPs, by their very nature, are requesting a proposal and budget figures outside of a relationship, we have found that our success rate when we participate is very low.

In fact, we have only “won” two RFPs in our 14-year tenure – both of which occurred when we were able to establish a relationship with the client and better understand their motivations and desired outcomes prior to presenting our response. Responses take a LOT of time to build out as well. Given our historical performance, we have put our efforts toward other options when creating new partnership opportunities.

I do very much appreciate being considered as a participant and wish you the utmost success with your project. If there is anything more I can do to assist, please reach out.”

See… RFPs can be sticky. They certainly serve a perceived desired outcome (collecting bids and start weeding out candidates) but come at that process that has a very strong opportunity to miss solving the *actual* challenges your organization is facing.

I can’t count the number of times we started conversations with one “need” in mind, only to uncover the *real* problem to be solved during the process of discovery and relationship building.

If you just need a third number to make your first choice shine, I get it.

If you are seeking to make connections with vendors who are well-aligned with your mission and values, and understand your true objectives, an RFP is not the way to get that done. Get in touch with us here to know more.