Let’s Put Bush and Kerry Through
the RFP Process

By David M. Brudney, ISHC
October 2004

Along with most Americans, I’ve been watching the candidates debate on TV this fall.

I find the debates very interesting but not necessarily that useful for my voting tastes.  There always seems to be a follow up question that isn’t asked, an answer in need of clarification, or a claim that goes unchallenged.

Frankly, I think the candidates get off far too easily.  All too often, voters are asked to make “leaps of faith” on what the candidates are promising, when the candidates state “facts”, or when each attempts to correct the other.

Does anyone make significant purchases via the Internet without first learning more about the product or service in question?  Why should voting for a candidate be any different?  Wouldn’t you have loved to have seen a factual message crawl across the bottom of the screen during the debates - - like an airline’s “on time” record - - when Vice President Dick Cheney attacked Senator John Edwards on his poor voting and attendance record in the Senate?

Wouldn’t it be nice, wouldn’t it make more sense, if President George Bush and Senator John Kerry had to go through the same process with the voters that consultants, hotel sales associates and other suppliers - - those of us who do this for a living - - do in order to get the “vote” of our prospective clients?

I’m a self-employed consultant for the hospitality industry and just like hundreds of my colleagues and competitors, I don’t have the luxury of campaigning for one job for the next four years.  I have to do that once a week - - sometimes once a day.  And if I lose more than a couple of those, I’m either out of business or I hunker down for some very lean times.

Here’s what I’m expected to answer in writing   when I “campaign” or “bid” on a new consulting assignment:

  • Specific qualifications for why I should be considered for a particular engagement
  • Relevant assignments I have successfully completed (wouldn’t you like to see Kerry have to address that in a PowerPoint?)
  • A specific outline for how I would go about fixing a problem, increase revenues, help create a better R.O.I. (wouldn’t you love to see Bush produce a PowerPoint on how the next four years will differ from the past four years?)
  • Current and past clients who will be contacted and asked specifically whether or not my services were of any value and would I be retained again for future work
  • Fees to be charged (hello, new taxes?), justification of my hourly rate, details on all expenses to be incurred
  • Timeline and availability - - I have to guarantee that I will make myself available and ready to perform my services within a specific period of time (with no extensions!)
  • A guarantee that all tasks and work product will be done by me personally
  • Deliverables - - specific content and length of my final written report
  • And, finally, Bush and Kerry can rest assured that the winner will be known on November 2nd (2000 delay not likely this time around).  Consultants aren’t so lucky.  We risk not only losing the assignment to a competitor - - with no polling “exit” interviews telling us why - - but many times the decision is delayed or worse, sometimes the prospective clients decide not to do the project at all. 
As I said, I think Bush and Kerry get off easy.  I’d love to see the candidates go through the same RFP process I do.  Who knows, the voters might be better served?  Just one man’s opinion.

© Copyright 2004 

David M. Brudney, ISHC, is a veteran sales and marketing professional concluding his fourth decade of service to the hospitality industry.  He is the principal of David Brudney & Associates of Carlsbad, CA, a marketing consulting firm specializing in the hospitality industry since 1979 and a charter member of International Society of Hospitality Consultants.  Previously, Brudney held sales and marketing positions with Hyatt, Westin and Marriott.


David M. Brudney, ISHC, Principal
David Brudney & Associates
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760-476-0830 Fax 760-476-0860
EMail: David@DavidBrudney.com
Web Site: www.DavidBrudney.com

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Also See Bev Kordsmeier, Hyatt Sales’ First Lady / April 2004
Message to Hotel Sales Associates: “It’s Not You!”/ January 2004
What Innkeepers Want Every Christmas? Fill Those Empty Rooms / December 2003
Uncertain Times Call for Return to Backyard Basics / April 2003
Time to “Group Up”?  Maybe, Maybe Not / May 2002
America’s Front Desk  Fights Back! / January 2002
Front Desk Fails To Catch America’s Hospitality Spirit / David Brudney ISHC / November 2001
A Very Good Time For That Sales Audit / David Brudney ISHC / Sept 2001 
More Theater, Less Zombies / David Brudney ISHC / Dec 2000 
It’s The Experience, Stupid! / David Brudney ISHC / Nov 2000 

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