Agency New Business

This is Part 12 of a 17 chapter eBook, “Agency New Business: Put On That Damn Sales Hat,” which you can download at no cost here.

The eBook covers everything from pre-prospecting preparation to working opportunities to close.

The majority of the eBook focuses on elements that agencies either often overlook, are too busy to consider, or are simply too lazy to pursue.

The agency landscape is changing rapidly and daily, not only for agencies, but for clients: doing things the same way won’t cut it.

We released “Put On That Damn Sales Hat” as an overall agency new business primer for marketing services firms, so they can put on their sales hat with purpose and confidence.


Chapter 12: RFI’s: Follow The Rules, But Bend Them When You Can

When you’re responding to an RFI or RFP, give the client what they want, in the order they want it.

Nothing worse than making your prospect work hard to find the information they asked for.

Think about it…many agency searches bring in 10+ agencies into a search.

Think how challenging it is for a marketer to review multiple agency responses.

How do you think a marketer feels when they review different formats and question orders in multiple agency responses.

No fun for the marketer.

So let’s assume you’ve been asked to complete an RFI and you’re told very specifically not to veer from the format requested.

All fine…but you know with 100% certainty that in order to stand out, you need to be different…so what to do?

Sit quietly by and not make waves?


The only way you’re going to stand out in the mix is to shout out and make yourself known.Agency New Business

I suggest you ask the marketer or the search consultant if you can offer slight variances to the response – or add an addendum.

It certainly never hurts to ask.

Even if you can’t change the format, consider adding images to make it more visually interesting.

Use bullets and include lots of white space.

Make it easy for your reader to consume.

Think about it…if all you do is answer questions the same way other agencies are likely to answer, how will you set your agency apart?

So give your potential client what they ask for, but make yourself stand out at every opportunity.

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.