Write Better RFPs: Intro & Issues (Part 1) [Plus+]

RFP A.R./Adobe Stock

As a buyer, you send out dozens, if not hundreds, of RFPs every year, and whether it is for a simple operating system upgrade for the local office or a complex global print project that involves 100 different countries and nine digits of spend, you need good responses to make a good decision and a good award. But sometimes good responses are hard to come by. Why? Sometimes the market is against you because the value of your dollar is falling, demand exceeds supply or your competition has launched a smear campaign against your brand. Sometimes the best suppliers have no capacity and you are relegated to picking the best option from the alternate backup providers. And sometimes your RFP just isn’t very good. You heard us. Sometimes your RFP isn’t very good. And if your RFP isn’t very good, how can you possibly expect to get good responses? Unless you tell them, the suppliers’ personnel don’t know your business, your challenges, your goals, your needs and what makes a good response and what doesn’t. Unless you reach out to them, they don’t even know how serious you are about considering any proposal they put forward. How do they know you aren’t just using them as “RFP fodder” and merely collecting their bids to use against your incumbent that you plan to award to anyway?

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