The Advertising Agency Client RFP – Go Or No Go
As an agency owner and business development director at Saatchi, I received many RFP’s — Request For Proposals. The reaction to receiving an RFP ranged from delight (YES, a big brand and client is interested in us) to dismay (a brand is asking us to respond to what is clearly an assignment that is not predicated on the client’s understanding of what we do for a living (example, asking us to build Android apps when we didn’t).
Responding to an RFP can be very time consuming and expensive for any agency. The costs include direct labor, out of pocket costs and the cost of deflecting staff attention from existing client and business development work. I outlined the cost of responding to RFI’s, RFP’s and actual pitches in my book “The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches”. Believe me, the costs can easily go into the thousands.
The bottom line is for your agency to have a clear set of rules that dictate when you should respond to an incoming RFP. Swinging at every ball is not a great way to hit home runs and manage your business.