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AE College: Spring

Agency RFP Process/Responsibilities

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Michael Bielski
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Do any agencies have a process for how they handle completing RFI/RFPs?

As a small business (under 15) who takes the lead and writes the responses? Who is accountable for keeping it moving?

Is the owner/president (knows the agency best) the lead both client facing and with writing responses? Or should an AE be able to manage the process and also be to write it too?

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lauriekay
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Yes, if possible, account service people should take the lead on responding to RFPs, including writing portions of the response that are appropriate for them. You may need other team members to contribute to the writing but the AE should be able to coordinate and bring it all together in a final response.

With that said, you don't want AEs responding to every RFP that comes into the agency so you should decide as a team ahead of time which RFPs deserve a response. They do take a lot of time away from other activities so be selective.

Also, the principal can certainly be involved, if necessary but it's a good skill for AEs to have since it can help to improve their writing and strategy skills for existing accounts and new accounts.

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Patrick Hopkins
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Or stop doing RFPs altogether. We have. They're the bane of agency existence. Check this out, and click on "Manifesto" at the bottom of the page: http://www.winwithoutpitching.com/

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Barbara Thompson
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Isn't everyone's nightmare? We have a white paper which we try to send which basically talks about "why" an RFP.  We have experimented with offering a potential a 50 hour project for free as a "try us you'll like us.  The 50 hours comes from the average hours that go into an RFP with usually dismal results.  On the advise of the great Tony Mikes we are very judicious on participating.  So often it is just a process with a fore-gone conclusion.  We refuse all if they won't participate in a discovery call-we use that to cull out the really bad ones.

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Debbie Bates-Schrott
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I agree with many above. RFPs are very often a waste of time unless you can get an inside track or relationship. We mostly don't bid unless we can get that. In my firm, I am involved in the crafting of the response but I have VP of Biz Dev who is responsible to the RFP and all of the follow up. He asked for what is needed from me, my marketing director and we have a content specialist. We are 19 people so we have a few more players.

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