OMG Your RFP is Killing Me! Panel Interview

The request for proposal document, commonly known as the RFP, is used by countless organizations to identify the best consultant partner for a project. But  crafting a good RFP process that benefits everyone involved is an art and a science. Joe Rinaldi will be facilitating a discussion on this topic with Todd Ross Neinkerk. Here’s what Joe had to say about the panel, and about RFPs in general.

Joe, what gives you insights into this topic? 

As the client’s ambassador to the Happy Cog team I am the recipient of a wide variety of client introductions. Just like introductions at a cocktail party, some are better than others. For every warm exchange with a guest, there’s that one guy, with the dead fish handshake and the bad eye contact. RFPs don’t need to be a dead fish handshake.

Who is joining you on the stage? 

I’m thrilled to be presenting with Todd Ross Nienkerk from Four Kitchens ( in Austin. Todd is passionately leading an ongoing conversation on this topic ( and has established some interesting internal processes that approach a “No RFP policy.”

I would imagine this would be of interest to consultants (vendors) and their clients. How will it benefit them? 

The truth is, while vendors frequently experience a wide variety of RFPs, the folks on the client side suffer from them far more acutely. And they suffer in silence.

For clients, these are organizationally transformative opportunities, and the results will reflect directly on them and their team. When an opportunity like this presents itself, they need to make the best informed vendor decision possible so they can create an amazing partnership and drive a fantastic outcome. If they are required to engage vendors in this format, starting with the right kind of RFP is critical. In this session, I hope to start a conversation about ending the suffering.

What has researching this topic with Todd taught you about the way you approach this problem? 

It’s been interesting through the course of this project to learn more about the ways RFPs are built within organizations. Additionally, it has been really eye opening learning that in many cases, clients are as unhappy with the RFPs that are authored as the vendor recipients.

If change is possible, it is only possible through a partnership between clients and vendors, and it has been gratifying to learn that we may actually all be in this together.

Thanks, and good luck in Austin, Joe! 


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