It’s a case of “doing” versus “thinking”.

Simply doing without thinking is easy.  Taking the time to think and process and creatively/smartly respond is a heck of a lot harder than simply “answering”.

The more you can analyze prospective Agencies’ thinking early in the process, the better the output will be on the back end of your search.

It amazes me when our Agency clients (on the Agency New Business side of our business) are handed RFIs from other search firms (or marketers directly) and all they do is ask for very basic information about the Agency.

At the end of the day, if all you do is look at the facts, all the Agencies will start looking alike – particularly if you have placed some very specific parameters on the search for the firm helping you out.  If all you do is ask for Agencies of a certain type, with a certain level of experience in a specific industry or two, in a designated geography…that’s what you’ll get.

When we pull RFIs together for Marketers looking to find better talent we go beyond the basic – and so should you.

It is at this very early stage of the analysis that you should begin to look into how the Agency thinks, how committed they are to your business, how they solve problems.  It’s in the answers to these kinds of probes that you’ll begin to see one agency separate itself out from the others.

It’s the answers to these questions that you’ll start seeing which Agencies simply worked up a cut and paste job from a past response to use it on the reply to your response.

It’s in these well thought through responses that you’ll begin to better paint a picture of who is likely to prove a more viable partner for your business – and who will not.

So take the time to do your own thinking when you develop your RFI…or make your consultant do it for you…or let us help you.

Either way, get the most out of the process – from the very start of the review.