RFX: Are you sure you don’t have anything else to add?
You will have heard it said RFXs are like examinations. Everybody gets the same exam paper containing a set of questions to which answers must be provided.
On an RFX most of the questions are obligatory, although there are some that are not. Specifically, the question at the end that asks ‘Is there anything else you would like to add?’ Sometimes it may be a simple blank space labelled ‘Any other information’.
But should you leave it blank, or fill it in? Then if you decide to fill the space, just what should be added in this place? We asked a group of experienced salespeople recently and were surprised at the answer – the consensus was that it should be left blank!
Out of almost100 salespeople we asked more than 80% favoured leaving the ‘Any Other Information’ panel blank.
There is a suspicion among many salespeople that adding additional information in the ‘Any Other Information’ panel of an RFQ can be dangerous – it may result in points being lost! So, why take the risk?
Others felt that buyers paid such little attention to the information provided in the ‘Any Other Information’ category that answering it would make little difference. So, why bother! Equally, a number of salespeople suggested that ‘by the time you have completed all the other questions, you just want to get it finished’.
Fewer than one in five salespeople favoured answering the ‘Any Other Information’ question. However, when we asked just what they included we wondered if it was really what buyers wanted to read:
- Details of our competitive advantage(s)
- Our sales proposition
- Information about our company
- Contents from some of our marketing communications
Perhaps the question should be is there ‘any other useful information you would like to add?’
Having asked salespeople for their view on completing the ‘Any Other Information’ panel, just who is right and who is wrong? Well, perhaps neither group is.
If there are key points of information that have not been elicited by the main content of the RFX, then the ‘Any Other Information’ panel should indeed be used in order to provide it.
However, it should not be used for marketing speak. That means if it is not related to the compelling reason why the buyer should buy, buy now and buy from you, then it is probably not worth adding.