10 Tips for Finding an Agency
Next, contact the agencies of interest. Call and speak with its new business person or principal and send them the RFP. Give a firm deadline, but be fair about turnaround times. Two weeks is reasonable. Be available to answer questions during this period—a good agency will ask questions to make sure it understands what you want and need.
7. Review and visit.
Review the RFPs and evaluate them using your hot button criteria. Then, go visit your top three or four selections. Communicate what you'd like to learn to the agencies and use it as an opportunity to test for compatibility. If you like to give detailed, written direction, do so when you communicate the purpose of the meeting. If you're casual, send an e-mail or make a phone call. It's important that your agency be able to work well with you. Ask to meet the staff that will be your day-to-day contacts and take the time now to review creative case studies.
It is preferable to go to the agency's location to see the agency in its own environment. These meetings will be time consuming, so don't visit more than two agencies a day.
8. Review the results.
Start with your hot buttons again. How does each agency stack up after the presentations? Put them in priority order and then get to the subjective side. Which team did you learn from? Which group got you fired up with enthusiasm? Lastly, look at the practical—if two agencies are tied for first place, consider the one located near a sales office.
9. Choose and inform.
Put all the information together and call the winner to share the good news. Some agencies decline business even after participating in a review, so confirm it still is interested. Discuss a few specifics—goals for finalizing contracts and fees—to make sure you're on the same page.