A Noodle in a Pasta Bowl..
…At least that’s what I felt like when the Request for Proposal (RFP) from a fairly large company landed on my desk.
Here was what the letter said.
You are required to write and edit our supplement that will be inserted to the 2 daily newspapers. Mango Media Caribbean is required to raise funding through advertising. Let us know the cost and how you intend to the achieve our objectives. Note that should Mango Media Caribbean not raise enough money from advertising, the firm will not be paid for writing and editing the supplement
Needless to say I asked a few questions, just to be sure I got the RFP right.
“Are you saying that if the company does not raise the required advertising dollars, we will not be paid for the editorial work ?”
It sounded more incredulous once it was in black and white. And wouldn’t you know it I never heard from that company again.
Maybe as service providers we have the word fool (or worse) seared into our heads. I guess some large firms figure that in a tough economy small companies may be hungry and/or desperate for work and willing to accept all kinds of conditions and demands.
For sure, some other consultant took that firm up on their offer. That their strategy was to see if they could throw an outrageous request onto the wall and like pasta see which noodle would stick.
I’m not paranoid.
Over the past last year in particular I’ve come across a number of firms who if you ask them about budget, you’d get no response. Inquire on the timing of a decision after a proposal is written and they don’t know. Ask them about payment and it’s a trade secret.
In fact their perfect service provider is small, eager, and not quite aware fact that there still a lot of valuable business to be from respectful clients if only for the patience and the gumption to find them.
Thankfully as tough as the business climate may be, we’re not one of them.