Team Building RFQ Best Practices

Team Building RFQs

Team Building RFQ Best Practices

by Anne Thornley-Brown, President,
Executive Oasis International

A couple number or recent incidents have started me thinking and reflecting about what is reasonable when requesting a quote for team building (or any other service for that matter).

It’s reasonable to:

  • provide clear outcomes and objectives
  • have a rough idea of your budget
  • expect a timely response from prospective suppliers (i.e. within 48 hours if it’s a simple programme and 5 – 7 business days if your request is specialized or complex)
  • arrange for prospective service providers to have a brief conversation with the ultimate decision maker
  • expect to pay a retainer if you require specific information about venues or customized itineraries
  • share your ideas and vision with team building professionals
  • get a reality check about which ideas are viable and doable
  • get back to prospective suppliers with a decision within 5 – 10 business days of receiving a quote
  • pay a deposit within 5 – 10 business days of making a decision

If you are not sure you will be proceeding with team building or an event or if you are in the very preliminary stages of planning, be honest about that. It’s perfectly acceptable to send out a short Request for Information (RFI), provide an outline of the points you want covered, and ask for a brief, point form response.

It’s NOT reasonable to:

  • obtain a quote that you have no intentions of considering just because your organization has a policy of obtaining 3 quotes
  • have no idea of budget or objectives when requesting a quote
  • fail to provide an opportunity for prospective suppliers  to have a brief conversation with the ultimate decision maker if you want a detailed proposal (shooting in the dark is a waste of everyone’s time)
  • let the decision-making process drag on for over a month
  • fail to provide an estimate of when a decision will be made
  • ask for more and more information if you have no intentions of  using the services of an organization
  • disregard professional advice about appropriate timeframes for team building sessions, logistics, layouts, and what is appropriate for a particular city or geographical location (e.g. don’t insist on a beach event in Dubai or Oman in July and polo in Toronto in January)

It’s Very Unreasonable to:

  • ask for a quote well in advance of when you intend to make a decision
  • ask for a proposal if you’re not sure you’ll require service
  • expect a detailed and customized proposal with specific venue option without paying a retainer
  • take proposals submitted by one firm and show them to another firm
  • ask for more and more detail and a customized agenda and then do the whole session using internal facilitators without paying for design
  • attempt to go directly to venues, caterers, and other suppliers without compensating the consultant who obtained the information and contacts for you
  • pay deposits 3 weeks or more after making a decision
  • refuse to pay late payment fees when the delay in processing invoices has been at your end
  • fall off the face of the earth and not inform consultants who have spent time preparing proposals of your decision (in fact, it’s poor business etiquette)

It’s all about respect.

Now let’s all try to be reasonable!

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6 thoughts on “Team Building RFQ Best Practices

  1. Christie Leigh Bellany says:

    As sales manager at a venue, I agree this is a sensitive subject. I have clients who want quotes for events 3 years from now, but they want a proposal by the end of the day. While there have certainly been times that the event did not come to fruition, there have also been plenty of times that the client was just eager to make a decision as soon as possible and they ended up booking a great event. I treat every lead like a potential client.

  2. Teamaholic says:

    I must say this is a sensitive topic.

    In this field of work, same as in all the others for that matter, clients always think they have the right to ask for whatever they want, and that the company providing those services should always obey.

    just my 2 cent

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