Being selected to participate in a Request For Proposal (RFP) from a potential client can be a difficult task. They typically send you a list of questions about your company and the company’s stance on certain topics. Standing out from the rest of the agencies vying for the new business is key and providing details on what you offer potential clients goes a long way. While a lot of agencies offer the same marketing services, clients are looking for the agency that fits their company best.
Why should they choose us? What do we do different or better than the rest?
In this article, we’ll discuss a few strategies and ways to analyze the recruiting process to put your agency in the best position.
Take a step back for a minute from your daily grind and look at the company from a fresh perspective. It’s easy to get lost in your to-do list for the day and rush through an RFP for a prospective client without putting your best foot forward. What is this company looking for, exactly? What is it that we do differently? Why would a company choose us over the others? If the answer is that you offer different types of marketing like SEO, PPC, Social, etc. then sell it as that. If the company focuses on a specific type of marketing, like PPC only, tell them why that’s your focus and the reasoning behind it.
Either way, come up with a list of positives for running the agency in that way and highlight them in your response. Every company has their own reasoning as to why they do things a certain way. As long as you truly believe that your company is run the most successful way possible, your responses will come off in a positive light and they’ll want to know more about the possibility of working together. Believing in the services you’re offering is key.
Listening To The Client
Chances are you’ve spoken to the prospect at least once prior to them asking you to participate in the RFP process. If you haven’t, you probably should. Typically, that first conversation is very telling on what you should focus on in your responses and the presentation. They’ll talk about some of their past agency experience, maybe some pain points in the relationship and what they’re looking to do moving forward.
There’s a good chance they’ll also mention a key area they’re looking to expand upon in the near future, like Facebook or mobile advertising. Chances are they’ve had several internal discussions on this and are looking for evidence that you can provide them the service they need. If something really irked them about their previous agency, work on highlighting why that won’t happen at your company. It may not sound like a huge deal to you, but chances are it’s a big deal to them and a topic of conversation for a while now. Prove to them why that won’t happen again.
As is always the case with any client services industry, communication is key. In a situation like this where you’re looking to win business, you want to emphasize the benefits of working with your company as opposed to anyone else. It’s very easy during this entire process to overlook some of the more obvious services the company offers. While we may take them for granted because we talk about it each and every day, the prospect does not. It’s important to touch every piece of the services offered, giving a detailed description and outlining the importance.
Also, it’s important to always be available throughout the entire process but never be too pushy. You want to give a glimpse of what it’s like to work together and work as a team. Remember, you’re the first impression they have on the company. Make it a good one!
When it comes to winning business in a highly competitive market, it’s important to set yourself apart from the other agencies. While each agency has its own way of going about their business, highlighting the company’s strengths and backing it up with detailed, sound reasoning is paramount to sticking out from the competition.
In your initial conversations with the prospect, be sure to read between the lines, as there is a very good chance they’re hinting at what’s most important to them. Chances are they’ve had internal discussions prior to speaking with you and are looking for an agency that helps to correct issues from the past. You’re not going to win every client that comes along, but if you provide detailed descriptions of the company’s services and explain the benefits thoroughly, you’ll land the clients who are a great fit for your company and stick around long-term.