Having recently endured four rounds of hectic proposal writing, followed by--surprise!--no response whatsoever from the proposal-requesters, I laughed through my tears at Peter Madden's anti-RFP* manifesto in Advertising Age. He counter-proposes a form letter that begins:
Dear COMPANY NAME:
Thank you for inviting AGENCY NAME to participate in your company's review of proposals to handle your business.
But we'll have to give you a big, fat NO FREAKING THANKS. Below are six reasons. I'd give an even 10 but I have to get back to productive work.
- We're not fans of giving away our creative concepts and strategies for free. Our clients (none of whom we landed through an RFP process) pay us well to do things like that.
- The first "get together" with COMPANY NAME will most likely be like an awkward first date -- except without the wine and potential hook up. Just tired of the thousand-yard gaze while we're trying to get you excited about what we could do for your company. Well, maybe we will elect to participate if we can bring a nice Chilean red and you bring a sense of humor, or at least some emotion. ...
Oh yeah, that thousand-yard gaze. Or worse: during one of our virtual agency's recent "get-togethers" with an executive team, the CEO actually nodded off. I kid you not.
Read the rest. And be sure to check out the comments at the bottom, including one from my old pal Rick Binger at Binger Catalog Marketing (hi, Rick!). Rick writes: "I totally agree. If you needed surgery, would you ask your surgeon to do a small surgery on some other part of your body first, before you decide whether to go with him/her for the 'real' surgery? Would you ask your car mechanic to fix a problem on your car for free before deciding whether to use him/her for the 'real' repair?"
Thanks to Mark Sloneker for forwarding the link.
* RFP = request for proposal. For a definition of OMDB and other instant-messaging lingo, visit Buzzwhack.