March 30, 2021Comments are off for this post.

How To Create an Impactful RFP Response

Effectively communicating your agency’s value proposition and how you can solve your potential client’s challenges matters more than ever. Having read through more RFP submissions than we can count, we thought some tips on how to best position your agency in written form would be helpful (and hopefully help you win more of the right business for your agency):

  • Thank you note: Less than half of agencies kick-off the RFP response with a personal note from the CEO, Founder or President thanking the potential client for including them in the RFP and setting the stage for the rest of the RFP response. It is a kind and impactful way to begin building a relationship. We hope to see all agencies adopt this classy approach.
  • Talk less about yourself: Of course, your potential client needs some important stats about your agency (where you operate, your services, your credentials as they relate to the client ask, etc.), but be very concise with this section. Consider an “agency stats executive summary” at the beginning of the response with additional general information about your agency at the end.
  • Answer questions directly: Clients know there are other amazing things about your agency and the services you offer, but make sure to specifically answer the questions asked in the RFP. Your potential client is reading through several submissions, make it really easy for them to compare “apples-to-apples” between you and your competitors. Be direct, concise and thoughtful in your answers.
  • Information overload: As mentioned, the client scoring team is reading through 5-15 RFP responses, be clear and concise with your answers. Be conscious of slide overload, giving too much information and providing deep details on questions/services not requested. Decks should not be 100 slides.
  • Get to the good stuff, quick: As early as possible in your response, shift the conversation to how your agency can solve your potential client’s challenges. We suggest not using the first 20 slides to talk about your agency, rather use those slides to show how your agency is uniquely qualified to leverage your experience and approach to evolve the client in the ways they need your help.
  • Be custom: While repurposing agency slides is great and there is not an expectation that every slide will be custom to a specific RFP, customize content on the slide with information that is specific to your potential client when possible. Use their name, add information about audiences they are targeting, include key topic themes that are important to them, do specific research that is relevant to them, and include their correct logo, etc. Help them to easily see how “your solution” can become “their solution”.

During this COVID-era where meetings are virtual and people are having “screen burnout,” it is more important to clearly and concisely convey your agency’s value to your potential client. When writing your response, ask yourself a couple of questions:

“Would I want to read this information?” and “Is this information relevant to what the client has asked?”.

Keep your audience in mind at every moment, paying special attention to what life is like right now for the person reading your response. Make reading your answers easy for them and a delight. Leave your potential client confident in your ability to  overcome their key challenges with a strong sense that you truly understand their unique needs and excited to get to know you better.

November 19, 2019No Comments

If It’s Broke, Fix It (An open letter about the agency RFP process)

The agency RFP process is broken. 

But, it’s not your fault. The process is not designed to solve your key business issues. It’s incredibly complicated: entails the cooperation of multiple departments, a massive technology overhaul, alignment with finance, etc. Agonizing procurement lead systems, antiquated search consultancy firms and lengthy RFP documents don’t truly help you find the right strategic partners for your business. Not to mention that the ever-evolving complexities of the marketing and advertising landscape require more from marketers than ever before, but the RFP process has not evolved to meet these growing demands. It’s painful for both clients and agencies.

As ex-Agency and marketing leaders, we know the process all too well. Here’s what usually happens…You only RFP agencies you’ve worked with, are referred to by a colleague, find on Google search or see on an AdAge top agency list. You ask them a series of questions to find out about them, but those questions don’t address how they can help you solve your key business issues. You pick an agency that has the most charming pitch team and most flashy pitch deck (the people that you like the most), but they might not be right for your business. As a result of this, the strategy and execution often fall flat.

You’re left with two choices: Try to make a tough relationship work or go through the painful process again. If your agency relationship isn’t salvable and you dare to venture back into the agency dating pool again with the same process as before, you’ll likely get the same results. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

This is painful for the agency too. They spend days or weeks responding to your RFP. They answer dozens of questions, build decks, create case studies. In most cases, they take team members away from their “day jobs” (billable client hours) to work on new business. They work late, lose sleep, miss family activities and agonize over giving you the winning response.

They win the business. They’re  excited, but now have to scramble to put together a team. The work begins, but like we said they weren’t the right fit for your business, so your team gets frustrated. Your team starts making out of scope demands on the agency. Your agency tries to accommodate you, but they aren’t built to address these demands or those demands cost more money (but you don’t want to pay more).Everyone is frustrated. Then, your account lead leaves and you have to start over with someone else. Agencies lose their team over relationships like this.

It’s a lose-lose for everyone; until now. 

This is why Tenx4 exists. We’re helping our client and agency partners cultivate and build better relationships. We are fixing this broken agency RFP system to help our clients find the right strategic partners to bring your business to the next level. We work with you to understand what you actually need. We lead the entire RFP review process all the way from internal stakeholder alignment and brief creation through to contracts and onboarding. We save you time, money and lots of unnecessary headaches. 

Ultimately, when you switch agencies, you’re taking a risk. We eliminate that risk.

Find out how we can help you: