When you’re feeling down, it’s sometimes hard to not let others see it.  When you go to a bad party that really is a drag, it’s tough to keep a “good face” throughout the entirety of the party – and usually all you can think about is “when is this thing going to end”.

Same can be true with Agencies when you’re in the search mode….and that’s why it’s important to take the time to look a little deeper than the words on the RFI…but it’s important to also listen to what they have to say as early in the process as possible.

In our most recent New Year Outlook survey, 57% of Agency principals state that the agency business isn’t as fun as it used to be.

That not only saddens us, but it troubles us that the agencies that are potentially being brought into your business may not be giving it their all for any number of reasons.  Could be the fault of you, the Client, who is nickle and diming the agency to death.  Or it could be the Agency, who has simply tired of the challenge of bringing you great work and great strategic ideas.

So what does this mean for you?

In order to make your agency search a success, it means you need to try and spot these things early in the review process.  Here are a couple of watch-outs/steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the best possible talent when in the midst of a search:

  1. How creative did they get in the RFI?  Does it look like a reprint from the last RFI they were in.  How tailored is it to you and your business?
  2. Talk to them.  Schedule a call with the Agency after you’ve made the RFI selections and start to get a feel for the personality of the agency.  Do they jump into the call with gusto?  Do they seem fairly well organized, or are seemingly plodding their way through the call?
  3. When they ultimately come to the table to present, again energy and enthusiasm, and being more about you all matters.  If they spend a lot of time talking about themselves, watch out.  If only a few of the army of folks they’ve brought to the table participates, you need to wonder how committed the others really are.

All these things matter and all these steps are things you can work yourself through as you screen Agencies as you work toward that final selection.