They’re only three little words, yet they’re so powerful! Now, as soon as we see those words, most of us can’t help but hear the melancholy intro to Adele’s chart-topping hit in our minds.
What do Adele and song lyrics have to do with benefits? It’s plan renewal season, which means many HR pros are reevaluating partnerships and/or seeking out new ones by sending a request for proposal (RFP).
And that’s where Adele comes in.
Issuing a great RFP is a bit like composing a great song. You need to strike all the right notes so that your company and new vendor can work in harmony to meet your benefits goals. And most importantly? It needs to be written well!
Although Adele probably could sing the phone book and still sweep the charts, her voice isn’t the only reason “Hello” became the earworm of 2015 and is still played on the radio today, four years later. Her lyrics are just as powerful, and therein lies a key lesson for crafting RFPs: it all starts with the words. What you say about your company’s needs, goals, and objectives must cut to the heart of what you’re seeking in a new vendor partner.
So, you may be wondering how you can capture all of that in a RFP? Just remember the 3 Ds:
- Distinguish. Avoid standard RFP templates and distinguish your company from competitors by defining unique business goals and traits that set your organization apart from the crowd. This in turn, will help garner unique responses from prospects and help you eliminate those that don’t rise to the occasion and match your progressive request with forward-thinking responses.
- Discriminate. Deliberately ask questions that will allow mismatched vendors to proactively take themselves out of the running. This will save your team precious time in the evaluation phase. Discriminating questions involve laser-focused queries around business operations, team member experience and capacity, and scope of key services.
- Detail. Be as specific as you can about your industry, business, team, and objectives as completely – and as concisely – as possible. This helps vendors better understand your point of view and how they can best work with you. As is any relationship, a business/vendor partnership is a two-way street. Vendors have to feel like your organization is a good match for them, too. Being as detailed as possible from the get-go can help vendors better decide whether or not to pursue the opportunity to work with your organization.
By keeping the 3 Ds top of mind, you and your team will be able to write an effective, one-of-a-kind RFP that will help you find the perfect partner to duo with on benefits administration.