We recently managed a search for a large B2B firm looking to find their way more aggressively into the B2C space. We went through our due diligence of finding about 9 agencies that met the qualifying criteria they were looking for and started into the process (RFI, Chemistry/Q&A Calls, Final Pitch Presentations). Late in the RFI phase, the client asked if we could also include an agency that had been working with the company and of course we agreed.
This agency had done some great work for the client as part of another division within the company, so I thought this agency was a likely shoe-in for the client’s ultimate selection.
RFI was fine. Gave us what we needed. But then things started breaking down.
Chemistry/Q&A call. They weren’t organized, focused on small things first (didn’t address client’s objectives or discuss strategy), and lacked enthusiasm. It was almost like they took the relationship for granted and didn’t put thought into the fact that they had been operating in a B2B world and needed to do some selling on their ability to now manage in a B2C space.
Lead up to final presentations (they were included despite their performance in the Chemistry/Q&A Call). Never heard from them. The other agencies fired questions, showed interest, dropped ideas down. Nothing from this firm.
Pitch Presentation. The lack of enthusiasm and lack of apparent understanding of the consumer space (despite the fact that 1/2 of their business was B2C) was extremely disappointing.
So lesson for all of you considering a current firm or a firm where you’ve had a past association.
BE EQUALLY AS CRITICAL
DON’T GIVE THEM A FREE PASS
MAKE IT AS TOUGH ON THEM AS YOU ARE ON THE NON-INCUMBENTS