The Mikuska Group  

Why we don’t respond to RFPs

The solution to RFPs is to get rid of them. Entirely.

They serve no purpose and don’t result in you getting the best consultant for the cheapest price – if that should even be a goal. That should be reserved for ordering quantities of widgets, not for consultants.

Here’s why we don’t respond to RFPs (requests for proposals):

  1. They don’t define the problems to be addressed. What, you say? We spent 24 pages describing the work to be done! In our experience, self-diagnosis usually misses the mark.
  2. They impose unreasonable conditions on us as consultants. Such as asking us how many hours we might devote to this or that aspect of the project. First, we don’t work on an hourly basis and second, how would we even begin to speculate on that if we haven’t had any discussions?
  3. Most times the organization has already picked their consultant and need us to pretend they had a competition. No thanks.
  4. Some RFPs want us to tell them exactly how we would go about such and such a project. We like helping out with clients or prospective clients but we won’t tell you how to solve your specific problem for free. That is consulting – our business – and we deserve compensation for it.
  5. ¬†We aren’t widgets. Our work is customized for each client and our expertise doesn’t come out of a box. So don’t try to define it in an RFP.
  6. We build relationships. Imagine starting to date someone after you’ve filled out a 24-page questionnaire with silly rules. Nuff said.
  7. Relationships are based on trust. RFPs are based on the organization holding all the cards and assuming a lack of integrity on our part. Like trying to hold a “right of approval” over future clients because of a perceived conflict of interest. Or refusing to look at our proposal because we presented it in a slightly different format than requested (because we don’t work that way!).

If you’re looking for consultants and want to have a conversation with us, we would love to chat and discover how we might work together. Just don’t send us an RFP.

Julie Mikuska and Laura Mikuska.

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