It’s important to read between the lines when an agency presents – regardless of whether it’s in person or on the phone.

If you find yourself in a situation where a team of agency people are present and only one of them (usually the principal) does most of the talking, this could prove problematic.  It could suggest that the bench depth doesn’t exist which could cause pains long-term if the key principal isn’t there to help you manage your marketing business.

It could also suggest that the principal doesn’t fully trust his team to get the job done without him/her.

Again, not a great situation if you’re looking for some real breadth in the team in support of your business.

The other thing to keep an eye out for is the orchestration of the team.

If it appears that different players are singing from different sheets of music or there is no apparent alignment and organization in how things are presented…this too could suggest some dysfunctionality in the ranks of agency. 

This may not seem like a big deal at this phase of the process…but the way I look at it is if they can’t get their act together with something so simple, how will they operate when they dive deeply into the complexities of your business?

Just some simple things to look out for, ask yourself, and compare among agencies when you’re looking for a new firm.