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  • Writer's pictureJoel White

It Depends

Yes, it depends.

When I was in house, in various leadership positions for pricing and finance, I used to get twisted up over how to respond to odd or difficult RFP requests for deal terms that I normally wouldn't agree to, but where the competitive situation requires a non-"no" answer:

  • Are you open to a bonus penalty arrangement on [project where it would be a bad idea]?

  • Do you offer volume discounts for awarded projects, and how much [asked by a small company with little likely volume]?

  • Will you commit to a firm fixed price for this project [in an industry where there's usually no such thing]?

I've found the ideal response starts (and sometimes ends) with "Yes", followed by some form of "depending on [information you haven't provided me or won't be finalized for some time]".


RFPs aren't contracts. The process will take time to play out. Keep your options open. Trust that you have the creativity and discipline to negotiate favorable terms when the time is right- and only when the time is right.


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