Posts Tagged ‘RFP’

Leads for sale, leads for sale, but just what is a lead?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

What’s your business title? CMO, CEO, CTO, Company President? As such you are bound to be the target of vendors that have “Leads for Sale.” Just what are these leads that seem so precious?

Spend a little time on social media and you’ll see an amazing variation of “leads for sale.” Presumably hundreds, thousands, even millions of prospect companies are anxious to hear from you, and to learn about your company products and services. But look online for a recent definition of leads and you’ll  find: A lead is an individual or organization that has expressed interest in buying what your business is selling. In short, a lead is a potential customer that has indicated they are interested in buying from you. In most cases, a lead “raises their hand” to show that they wish to be contacted by submitting their information directly to you. (compliments of G2)

Here are some historical definitions: a position of advantage in a contest; first place. “they were beaten 5-3 after twice being in the lead.” Or: To lead means to go in front, or to serve as the leader of a group.

Or this example in marketing slang: Party A sitting at a 2-top at McDonalds. Nearby at a 4-top are Parties B, talking loudly and mentioning their dissatisfactions with their current ad agency. Party A listens more closely to discover the name of Company, and after leaving, calls his friend Party C who owns a small local ad agency. Party A gives the identity of Company to Party C and suggests she call the company to solicit their business.  Party A gave Party C a “lead.”

Here’s recently received LinkedIn example;

William: Message. Let’s use LinkedIn to keep in touch more often

AF: Once you enroll your agency we communicate in that channel.

Hi AF (via LinkedIn), I hope you are doing good. I’m sending this note to introduce myself and our company . As a full-service user experience agency, we are able to deal with unforeseen project needs. Do you think it’s worth a quick 5 minute chat tomorrow or next week to find out if we can help you with this?

AF – Unfortunately you think we are an ad agency, we’re not. So your pitch has missed it’s mark.. But thanks for reaching out!

Every agency needs “leads” or better said “prospects” to engage in outreach marketing. Whether those “prospects” come from bulk email buys, tailored email buys, carefully curated LinkedIn contacts, carefully and meticulously purchased Winmo contacts – until they respond and (as it’s said) raise their hand, they are all just prospects. Don’t be confused! Finally, in our AgencyFinder world a lead with us is an actual “introduction,” delivered in our RFD (Request for Dialogue), a literal handshake and the beginning of a potential business relationship!

 

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but Horses and Even Agencies Don’t Always Abide

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Consultancy

Sometimes Amused: As the owner of an agency search consulting service, I’m sometimes amused when an advertiser is surprised when every invited agency wasn’t interested in their opportunity. Maybe that harks back to the days when consultants were guilty of sending out 50+ RPF’s (i.e. – the infamous cattle call) and waiting for the chips to fall. Under today’s circumstances, you might expect agencies to pounce on everything new that comes their way. That’s clearly not the case, and never was, but for any company looking to engage new “marketing outsources”, it helps to know what attracts an agency. Here’s a thumbnail.

What agencies want to know: At the onset, agencies like to know why they were included. Was it their reputation, creative, awards, profile in a database or experience with the consultant.  Agencies expect to be talking directly to the client. Gone are the days where the consultant served as a conduit between the two, screening and interpreting the message content. An impersonal RFP calling for pages of agency detail coupled with an admonishment not to contact anyone at the company is an immediate Red Flag. An agency wants to be speaking and dealing with the person who is managing the review, an individual with authority, well beyond the collection of candidate credentials. An initial due-diligence phone interview saves everyone time and money. It gives the agency a chance to ask and answer and the client to reciprocate.  Here the parties evaluate “chemistry”, the magic elixir that will or will not cement the two in an extended relationship. Questions such as – Is this a project or an extended relationship? What’s the desired measurable outcome? Then budget, that elusive budget.  An agency worth hiring needs to know what funds will be available to manage the assignment. Not precisely but order of magnitude. Don’t shadowbox there. Summarizing, that phone interview should have given the agency sufficient information to produce and send a package of preliminary agency materials with relevant experience, similar client challenges, creative strategies, client testimonials, agency capabilities and credentials.

There’s always fallout: There’s always an immediate fallout from initial invitations; then more will follow phone interviews. Upon receipt of agency materials, corporate colleagues are assigned to examine and evaluate what was received. Some agencies are eliminated (for any reason). Ideally there should be 6-8 firms that remain.  Schedule those for on-site or Zoom visits. Then identify the 2-3 finalists. There’s clearly more to those visits and final presentations than I’ve described; the entire process is where a search consultant earns their stripes!

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