Why We Don’t Respond to RFPs

Often, potential clients send us RFPs, only to find we don’t respond to them. A few people have stopped to ask us why.

The short answer? Those who send RFPs often aren’t willing to actually sit down and talk to us in depth about their project

Here’s the long answer.

We Strive to Understand Whether or Not We’re a Good Fit for Your Company

Our clients are a big part of the project. To understand whether we’re a good fit for you, we need to talk to you. Get to know you. Ask you questions about your target market and your goals.

We also need to know if you’re a good fit for us. Just as we aren’t the right marketing company for every business, every company is not the right client for us. 

Communication

When we see an RFP we know there’s a committee involved that’s making all the decisions, not an individual. That adds complexity to moving any part of the process forward.

That’s not to say we never work with committees (we do!), but we always ask for a primary point of contact. We want someone who is a good communicator and who is capable of getting clear, unambiguous decisions from the committee they work with.

If we can’t get that, we generally know the client isn’t a good fit for us, because we won’t be able to take effective action on the client’s behalf. 

RFPs Often Ask Us to Answer the Wrong Questions

Most RFP writers haven’t considered the best options for solving their marketing problems or for achieving their website goals. The proposal is often either missing pieces or outlines ineffective, outdated, or inefficient solutions.

If we’re going to send you a proposal, it will be designed around your goals with the unique solutions we propose for reaching those goals. The scope we outline in our proposal may be much different than the one contained in your RFP. And it likely won’t be the same solution that our competitors propose.

To get the information that we’d need to do this for you, we’d need an interview. Over the phone. Via Zoom. And sometimes we need to talk to you multiple times. Depending on the complexity of the project, we may propose a scoping phase to work out all of the details. However it happens, we need the opportunity to ask some focused questions about topics that RFP writers rarely even consider.

Since the RFP process rarely allows for a conversation until a proposal is presented, we’re left at an impasse.

Lack of Clarity or Organization in the RFP Timeline

Often crucial timeline dates are missing, like meeting and interview dates. Or, deadlines for responding to the RFP are unreasonable. Project launch dates are sometimes too tight.

Often it’s unclear to us whether the potential client’s understanding of the marketing project or the website scope of work is in sync with our own. 

Approach Matters

Clients who send RFPs often want to compare apples to apples and get the best price. 

The apples-to-apples approach doesn’t work for us. People hire us specifically because we don’t use the same solutions and approaches as everyone else. 

The RFP process leaves no room for our creativity, or for the joint creative process that can happen in the synergistic relationship we seek with our clients. 

We’re not here to provide rock-bottom prices. We don’t compete on price at all. We compete on quality: we aim to do the job right and do it right the first time. 

Want to Know if You Should Work with Us? 

If it sounds like your company would enjoy a relationship with our company, then don’t send an RFP!

Instead, reach out to schedule a discovery call so we can determine if we can truly solve your problems and achieve your goals! That’s what we care about. If that’s what you care about too, then let’s take a little time to get to know one another.

Learn Why We Do Other Things the Way We Do

Why we ask you to fill out a long discovery questionnaire

Why Unlimited Website Design Revisions Aren’t Good Customer Service

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