It’s been five years since we started RSW/AgencySearch and we’ve amassed our own “Top 10 List” of tips from the front line of pitching, RFI responding, and general review “etiquette” that can help agencies better their chances of winning when in a review.waynesworld

Here we go:

#10 – Don’t overstate your experience.  Because you’ll be found out if you do.

#9 – Don’t be modest, either.  The way I look at it, is if it’s not you, someone else is going to grab your spotlight.

#8 – Think not of yourself, but of that potential client.  And that’s in everything you do.

#7 – Talk not of yourself, but of your potential client.  Even if they ask you to talk about yourself, start with them.

#6 – Do your homework.  Whether it’s a call, an RFI response, or the final pitch presentation…know your stuff!

#5 – Make them feel like you’re ramping up.  Show them you’re ready and you’re already steps ahead in planning.

#4 – Be organized in how you present/respond.  Showcase a lack of organization now…what happens later in the relationship!

#3 – Build it from the ground, up.  Start with the insights, then the strategy, then the well-connected ideas.

#2 – Bring the “A” team that will work on the business…unless you don’t care about winning the business.


And the #1 tip from the front line is….


#1 – Make sure your fly is up.


Ok, not really (but do make sure your fly is up).  The #1 tip from the font line is…


#1 (for real) – Bring energy.  No energy means no fun and sad things for the client’s brand.


So while I’m sure I could come up with another 10 more…these are the ones that are most important to remember when in a pitch, responding to an RFI, or when on a call during a pre-pitch Q&A discussion.

Key is to think about your potential marketing client.

Ask yourself, what would you want to see and hear if you were on the other side? 

Certainly not a lot about the agency because they all look alike.  Certainly not a 3-ring circus made out to look like a presentation because that might mean my account is going to be managed the same way.  And not a bunch of fresh out of school age kids that can’t know much more about my category than that which they picked up off of a cliff notes app on my industry.

So think before you act.  Study before you run.  And give before you take.

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.