I think I have a unique perspective on New Business Development as I have been a new business hunter and have conducted agency searches for companies such as Jenny Craig, Raley’s Supermarkets and Jacuzzi North America.
When I conduct a review many agencies immediately ask me “How Many Agencies Are Submitting?”
When I say it doesn’t matter they don’t believe me. This is what I have seen from the other side.
The number of agencies on the long list doesn’t really matter because all agencies aren’t created equally.
You see agencies set the table and first impressions count.
If I look at their submission and say “Wow I couldn’t do that.” I know they will go far. If I look at their submission and think my daughter submitted a better presentation in college I know their presentation will be quickly dismissed.
When one agency sends their RFP response in a customized box or container that is cleverly designed specifically for this client and another agency sends in a standard bound response, it is not difficult to see who has the advantage and increased their odds of being selected to go to the next round.
If one agency submits a superficial assessment of the client’s web presence and another agency a thorough analysis the choice is clear.
If one agency submits a brand video that they think summarizes the essence of the brand and another agency submits no perspectives on the client’s business the choice is clear.
If one creates a dedicated micro site as part of their submission and the other agencies don’t then the choice is clear.
What also surprises me almost in every review is the agencies that I perceive have the most resources often send a response that is so under resourced that it I am almost embarrassed for them. I am so disappointed. They may have just been going through motions which they perceive has a limited downside. They are wrong. They have made a negative impression among a number of marketers and consultant that does not create positive word of mouth in the future.
The amount of effort that an agency takes in preparing their presentation is very easy to see when compared to agencies whose philosophy is let’s just send them something and see what happens. Nothing will happen with that approach. It is an old adage but cream does really rise to the top.
I have seen that it really doesn’t matter how many agencies are on the long list or what order you present in.
You see an agency review is a major milestone in the life of a brand and the career experience of the clients involved. They may never do another one or another one for years. It is a special occasion. It is not an everyday process but a special occasion. If you treat your submission like that you will beat the odds. If you treat New Business like advertising you will fade away.
You can connect with Hank on Linkedin
Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank
Connect on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank
Watch his video on When Is It Time to Fire to Agency.