Imagine this – you are interested in building a home. Contractors are plenty and you want to hire the right one to support your vision. Before you see any of their work, you ask them to fill out a fifty-page document so they can describe who they are. A couple weeks and one novel per contractor later, you set a meeting and ask themto tell you what they can do rather than asking them to customize your dream home.
Doesn’t that sound like an incredible waste of time? Welcome to the world of RFPs.
There are countless reasons that make RFPs a hassle and waste of time, but I’ve narrowed my list down to five.
Oh! The redundancy!
The definition of insanity is asking the same question over and expecting different results. That sure sounds like an RFP to me. I’ve never seen one that hasn’t asked one question in five different ways. I’ve never loved the shortcuts of CTRL+C and CTRL+V more.
Who has this kind of time?
The time it takes to put an RFP together is likened to my college English courses that require a ten-page paper. Even with automation these days, a quality consultant wants to verify that everything is accurate because this RFP is a representation of their company and themselves. Anything incorrect could wind up losing them thousands in commissions.
What happened to conversation?
The pandemic has only made it that much tougher to make a connection. But, is it really a good idea to replace an RFP with an authentic relationship, good conversation, and an honest discovery of what a client needs? Everyone knows things get lost in translation, so why rely on an RFP to get a message delivered?
These are here for your amusement. Is someone actually reading all this and using this book report to hire someone who will handle something as serious as benefits plans for all your people?
- Describe your firm’s resources or methods to provide education on legal, regulatory changes and market trends.
- Describe the exceptional, value-added features of your submission.
- Please explain your philosophy around Medical consulting
- Please explain your philosophy around Prescription consulting
- Please explain your philosophy around Dental and Vision consulting
- Please explain your philosophy around Life and Disability consulting
- Please explain your philosophy around VB/Worksite Benefits consulting
Here’s an idea!
Instead of asking me to fill out these questions – most of which make zero sense – why don’t I take the time we spend together to ask you questions? It starts with a simple “tell me about your company, your struggles, your barriers, etc.” and ends with more detailed questions so I know how to help you. “What challenges do we need to plan for over the next decade?” (insert from actual RFP). Rather than get a canned response that someone else might have drafted, let me learn more about you so I can properly answer that question.
Building relationships and tailoring plans seems like a lost art these days. Just because another company has a benefits package, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your people. If you have ever called your company culture “unique,” then this is a great place to deliver on that promise. Let’s build a custom home for you and your employees with benefits that make sense.