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Expecting the Unexpected

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With Derby Festival behind me, I’m on to a new challenge: my first RFP. Sifting through what the client has outlined as their set of needs, I’ve been asking myself: how exactly should we be responding here? Should we stick strictly to what the prospective client is asking for? Or should we take a chance and propose some out-of-the-box ideas that we know would produce great results? If we do, we run the risk that the prospect will bolt when they see we went in a direction different from the one they requested.

But then it occurs to me: what sort of relationship do we want with our clients? Do we simply want to be a few pairs of extra hands, executing without adding much extra value? I think the answer is clearly no. Partnership is what every good agency aims for, the sort of relationship where the client gets the service they want, but some real collaboration as well; the results they need, but perhaps not in the exact way they might have expected. Doesn’t every agency want to work that way? I think so.

So, between Option A, playing it safe and adding nothing more to the RFP than what’s been requested and Option B, going for the gold and including some unexpected surprises, I’m going with Option B. It’s riskier, but the potential rewards are a whole lot greater — both for them and for us.

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