RFP Academy: Are Service Providers Playing Hard to Get?

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Once you’ve organized your RFP process, finalized your set of well-thought out and specific questions, and issued the RFP out to candidates, you’re ready to start analyzing responses. But are candidates responding with all of the necessary information you need to make a clear, informed decision? 

When running your own RFP, even some of the largest market-share leaders may appear ambiguous or uncooperative with a few of your due diligence questions. This can include representative client information, litigation and regulatory disclosures, and even service team compositions. 

However, just because an organization is a household name does not mean they can sidestep your prudent scrutiny. If they’re not willing to invest the time in answering your questions, it’s either an indication of how they’ll treat you as a client, or they might be hiding something. 

Don’t let service providers play hard to get! If you feel you didn’t receive clear and direct answers to important questions in your RFP, dig in deeper, or kick them out. 

This could be challenging if you’re not used to reading RFP responses everyday – you may be digesting marketing spin instead of scrutinizing an indirect or imprecise answer.

If you’re not confident that you can’t tell the different between marketing sheen and Shinola,  you might want to contemplate enlisting the help of a search consultant or other similar expert.

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