Marketer: RFPs Suck

A marketing company posted this to their company blog:

We are compelled to decline RFPs.

  • RFPs promote shallow relationships. The same business rules that required an RFP in the first place almost always mean another will be required for the next project. It’s hard to build a relationship when you have to compete every time you want to get together.
  • RFPs inhibit diversity in the industry. Every great agency has a distinct voice, and there are so many wonderful ones to choose from. We refer out 1/3 of the projects that come our way because of this. Not to wax poetic, but RFPs are like going to France and holding a contest to see which vineyard can make the best Arbor Mist clone.
  • RFPs are incompatible with The Golden Rule+. Internally, we have five Sacred Truths that we’re willing to stake the company on. One is the Golden Rule+. One way we express that is “Give value first and last.” We always try to give ideas away on the front end, and consulting or videos on the backend. We seek to be generous, and RFPs by their nature inhibit that.

RFPs suck because they exclude trust. Trust in a quality approach, trust in employees, trust in a client. Without trust it’s impossible to be friendly.

I <violently> agree with the sentiment here. I understand the role RFPs play and why they are used. However, time and again, RFPs prove to be a horrible way to buy video surveillance/physical security systems. Those that claim RFPs 'save money' for the spending agency/tax payer are out of touch with the real results they yield.

Shopping for commodities like paper clips with an RFP is one thing, but shopping for an integrated, site-specific video surveillance system is vastly different! The points this marketing company makes about promoting shallowness, undermining trust, and 'inhibiting diversity' are dead on, in my opinion.

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