The Mad Clientist’s Maxims: The RFP Process is Neither Fair nor Objective

The only people who dislike RFPs more than you are your clients.

To some, the RFP can serve as a beacon of hope to win new business—driving adrenaline levels and competitiveness sky-high. To others, the RFP is a wake-up call—a signal your client relationship is at risk because you are no longer winning work on a sole-source basis. Regardless of the motivation, the RFP is your chance (in some instances your last chance) to make a mark with clients.

Below, The Mad Clientist shares highlights from BTI’s analysis of how clients issue—and choose—RFPs.

  • The RFP process is neither fair nor objective: Play to win. The RFP process is no time to play by the rules. Even clients who disallow questions in their rules for response express surprise when no one calls to ask questions.
  • You can lose bids and projects because your price is too high. But you win work because you show uncanny, client-focused insight.
  • If you have not helped your client prepare the RFP, your chances of winning are less than 12%.
  • Clients report only 2% of proposals received from their professional services firms are truly unique and thoughtful—talk about opportunities to shine.

MBR / JPD